Shaun Vinel : « Je suis né sur les terrains de moto-cross »

Thursday, late morning. Shaun has just spent a good hour riding and performing jumps on his track located in the heart of the Margues Woods.

« This year, I will have Thursday and Friday to train, » he says with a smile. It’s an opportunity to seize because Shaun’s schedule has been busy for the past few years. Between managing his motorcycle school, which he founded in 2017, teaching classes on the side, such as at François Marty High School in Monteils and La Fouillade, and competing in motocross and supercross on weekends, there is limited time for training. Leisure activities take a back seat: « It’s been a long time since I took a week off. Oh, wait, except when I went to Estonia… » A week in the Baltic countries that was not dedicated to tourism, but rather to motorcycles and the European supercross championship. And at 25 years old, this passion is still very much alive.

The student has surpassed the master.

You could say that it’s logical when you know that the pilot has been immersed in motorcycles since his early years: « I was born on motocross tracks, we used to go as a family with the caravan… And that hasn’t changed today. » At that time, it was Shaun’s father, Pascal, who was twisting the throttle. But above all, it was to satisfy a passion, because he didn’t have the means to aim higher. Because like other motor sports, riding motorcycles comes at a price. Especially when you reach the top level. This is a challenge that Shaun will face, as he takes part in his first competitions at the age of 9 in 2009: « I was riding a 2002 motorcycle. But well, it allowed me to compete against the best. And then, my father always taught me to aim as high as possible, to do my best with what I had. » Although he wasn’t on the same level as his competitors, the rider found an additional motivation to disrupt things. And his good results obtained here and there alongside the top performers in the discipline testify to this. Today, the student has surpassed the master. Pascal, the father, is still present at competitions, taking care of logistics and mechanics, but he admits to taking a step back. « I try to provide an outside perspective, give some advice, even though Shaun now has the necessary experience to know what he needs to do. »

A passion that keeps him alive today.

Alongside the competition, Shaun, who also provides advice to young pilots from François Marty, created his motorcycle school in Martiel in 2017. « I had always wanted to give lessons and workshops. And when I realized that it could be a livelihood, I took the plunge. » Although he dropped out of school at a young age, Shaun worked various odd jobs. But he also collaborated with François Bouquet at the Moto Club Rouquettois and gained his first experience in the profession. Thanks to Richard Ravailhe from Espace Moto 12, Shaun, barely 20 years old, then decided to take the leap with his motorcycle instructor diploma in hand: « I still remember the first open days, hastily organized in December 2027. But they were a great success, with over forty pilots in attendance. » The beginning of a great adventure, which continues today with the same objective of making motorcycles accessible to as many people as possible. « The five tracks have their own characteristics and are complementary for progressing gradually, whether for beginners, intermediates, or even experienced riders. » Of course, there have been moments of doubt, like during the Covid pandemic, and it is not always easy to retain young riders. « Financially, it is also a constant puzzle, between maintaining the tracks and the motorcycles… » In short, one must always innovate and continuously develop the activity: « In an ideal world, I would like to have two people working together and offering new things, such as motorcycle camps, electric motorcycle tours… But one thing is certain, you must stay grounded. Because the day everything stops, you fall from a building. » In the meantime, a new season has already begun, and nearly 80 people revved their engines at the Easy Mx motorcycle school’s open day in early September…

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