Tortelli: Helping Wharton

Shan Moore | February 15, 2011

While in Houston for the Supercross, Cycle News spotted Sebastien Tortelli in the GEICO Powersports Honda pits talking to Blake Wharton between practice sessions. The two-time World MX Champion is currently working as an advisor to Wharton, helping him with training and technique, so we decided to check in with him to see what else the French “Moto Superstar” has been up to.

So what’s going on?

Right now, I’m working with Blake Wharton, helping him prep for Supercross. He’s making good progress and building his confidence and he expects great things for this weekend.Are you working with him on his technique? His fitness?Mostly his riding technique, and making sure he’s ready. We’re also working on the mental things, his training, and a little on the physical conditioning. He has a big engine, a big heart, and he is in great shape so…that was the easy part of it. We’re looking at it as making great progress on pure speed and he’s getting there step by step.

You’re helping others with your schools, right? Yeah, I train pro riders and do motocross schools. I have a traveling motocross school called ChampFactory and I do schools in South America, Europe, and America. I’m based out of California mainly, and soon a I will have a new pro rider coming on board to make this school bigger, especially in California, so that is in the works and will hopefully be out soon.

Are you enjoying life in California? People thought I went back to Europe, but I never left, I was always here. I have no intension of leaving, it feels good to be here now. I’m just living San Diego and things are going good, my kids are growing up here in America, they are born here, and they are Americans, so I’m not planning on going back to Europe any time soon.

Are you still able to get in enough riding with everything else that is going on in your life?I  ride once in a while, but these guys keep me pretty busy with the traveling so I can make sure they are in shape and all that stuff, but I do ride once in a while. Every other week, I can jump on my KTM 350, that’s and old man bike, but it’s perfect for me… not too much power, not enough, and it’s good, I have fun with it.

What is one thing you do now that tells us Sebastien Tortelli is Americanized? I drive everywhere instead of walking, that’s for sure. My wife is French, and we still have the home style cooking, so we don’t dine out as much as American guys do.

Shan Moore | Contributing Editor

Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.