Since they created the Bud Racing Team in 1995 Stephane and Sébastien Dasse have always been partners with Kawasaki, supporting young talent for more than two decades.
What do Marvin Musquin, Gautier Paulin, Dylan Ferrandis and Brian Moreau each have in common? Easy! They all started their professional career with the Bud Racing Team, one of the most famous team structures in the GP paddock which is back in the MX2 GPs this season after several campaigns in the European Championship.
For Stephane Dasse who now runs the team alone after the tragic death of this brother last year, the time was ripe to return to the GPs with French hopeful Brian Moreau. “After his 125 European title two years ago and one season in the European 250 it was time for Brian to race GPs, and that’s why we decided to return to the GPs even if financially it’s much more expensive for a team. We have some support from the promoter, but hopefully Kawasaki believes in our programme and has been able to give us some extra support. We’re really thankful to them, and we hope we can celebrate some podium with them soon,” explained Stephane who didn’t get the results he expected during the early rounds of the series. “For sure we were expecting better results but it’s still early in the season, there’s a lot more races to come and Portugal was a step forward for us. Brian got injured at the first GP of the season and he had to take a break from training for one month, and we must not forget that he’s the youngest rider of the class, only seventeen. From the very start we knew that this would be a learning year for him and he needs time to find his markers.”
The main reason that the team has always been racing the European series is because they work with young riders. It’s a team choice, and for Stephane there’s no reason to change this strategy in the future. “We had some top riders racing with us in the past, like Paulin or Vuillemin, but we get much more satisfaction to build fresh talent from their formative years, trying to teach them the job as they advance from the amateur to the pro level. We like that, and we have a good structure to do that with the workshop, the tracks, the trainer and everything which they need to learn. It’s really interesting, and when the results are coming that’s even more exciting for me,” he reckons, knowing that his job is not only during the race weekends but also all week long. “For sure we have to be like a father sometimes, as they don’t have a driving licence and spend a lot of time in the apartment near the workshop; they don’t even know how to cook their food when they join us. Sometimes we also have to take care of their education even if we are not the parents; I have two young daughters who are the same age as Brian so we know how it is,” he says with a big smile on his face!
Building champions is one thing, keeping them when they start to be successful is another, but Stephane has no regrets at all and derives great satisfaction when he can see improvements in the future. “It has always been interesting to do what we do; we’re proud to have been able to help riders such as Marvin Musquin or Dylan Ferrandis when they were youngsters; we retain a great relationship with them and we also hope to bring Brian to the top. In the past we lost our riders when they started to achieve success on the international stage but we are working more and more with Kawasaki to try to keep them in the future. Brian started on a KX85 and has been with us for six years now; for sure the common goal with Kawasaki is to keep him Green. Our Bud Racing KX250F bike is already very good and we know that we have really good products in the pipeline for our young riders,” continued Stephane, who is also working with younger riders in the youth classes. “At Bud we like to work on the development of the bikes, and we like to work on 65 or 85 bikes because even small refinements can make such a difference. We have always followed this way and we have always supported very young riders; in the wake of Brian we are helping Quentin Prugnières who is leading the 85cc French championship, and also Daniela Garcia who is the fastest young girl in Europe. We want to bring them to the top also.”