Up and coming road racer Pierre Yves Bian was due to take part in his first Isle of Man TT, until a pandemic got in the way. But that wasn’t his first visit to the island. In 2019, the Frenchman won best newcomer at the Manx GP, the taster to the real thing.
Pierre, this was going to be a big year for you. Your first TT. But then coronavirus got in the way.
[Laughs]. Yes. Following my introduction to the Isle of Man at the Manx GP last year, I was really looking forward to riding the TT this year. But coronavirus has stopped that and set me back a year. But I will continue the preparation so that I’m motivated and ready for next year.
How did it feel winning best newcomer at the Manx GP?
I was really proud. To ride at the Isle of Man is a big challenge and a dream for me. But it wasn’t easy. Three months before the Manx GP, the French team I’d been racing for let me go just after the NW200. That was difficult for me. I thought that was the end of my racing career. But then Martimotos Racing phoned and we raced at the Manx GP together. And I picked up the best newcomer. That was a fantastic win for me and the team. My manager Martino Martinez and the rest of the team believed in me all the way. I’m proud for all of us.
You call the Isle of Man circuit a dream. How was your first time there?
Wonderful. The track is absolutely incredible. It really is a dream to ride the track. The mountain section is the best place to ride in the world. The view, the speed, the curves. It’s awesome!
What’s going through your mind the moment before you set off and how do you get into the zone to race?
Nervous is the word for it. Before the start, for me, it’s very important to be calm and focused. It’s important to respect the track.
What are you feeling after the race? It must be physically and mentally exhausting?
After the race, the adrenaline is flowing through you. It’s a fantastic feeling to finish the race and see your team, family and friends. Mentally, it’s very stressful for the rider and the team. But physically, I was prepared. The concentration required to ride at the Isle of Man is incredible. It’s so fast and no error is accepted.
How long have you been road racing and how did you get into it?
I started road racing in 2015. In 2016, I finished IRRC Supersport in fourth place and had my first podium at Imatra. A year later, I moved up to third in IRRC and took my first wins at Imatra and Chimay. 2018 was my first NW200, which was incredible, and I was in the top 20 in SSP. And then the fairytale in 2019 with the Manx GP win.
You mention the NW200. That’s something of a junior IoM TT and a lot of riders love it. Why do you enjoy riding that circuit?
For me, the NW200 is incredible. I love the atmosphere. It’s so well organised and the programme for the week is super. The track is great to ride. It’s a fantastic place for everyone, from the riders to the spectators.
What’s next for you?
Next for me is some training with my teams Martimotos and Vas Racing, and maybe get few races in when it’s possible. Macau might be a possibility soon.
What’s your connection with Motul and how has it helped with your racing and your bike’s reliability?
Motul supports my team Martimotos. The oil is brilliant for getting the most performance out of the bike and there’s so many different products that really help with so many areas of the bike. The people at Motul are really passionate about our sport. It’s important to use the best products, from bikes to lubricants, if you want to get to the top.
© Picture credits: Lucas Croydon, Peter Faragher, Northline Photography,