FIM-E Champions Review – Bertrand Maurice FIM-E Pro Stock Bike
A far from straightforward year in FIM-E Pro Stock Bike ended up with France’s Bertrand Maurice using a bit of Gallic flare and knowhow to overcome numerous challenges to wrap up the 2023 title with an event to spare.
Maurice won the season opener at Santa Pod in May in unorthodox fashion, ignition problems that would beset the Light Speed Suzuki for much of the rest of the year leading to a stop off the line in the final, but benefitted from a red light in the other lane. Scheduled final round appearances in the two rained off Swedish meetings gave the Normandy resident a shot at taking the FIM-E title at the NitrOlympX in Germany which he duly did, despite losing his only elimination round of the year in the final. With the title deal done, the Light Speed team looked to get rid of the stumbles that had sporadically appeared, and ended up finishing the season on a bit of a high with a season’s best number of 7.235 and the European Finals event trophy.
You won your second championship in 2023. How do you look back at the season just gone?
The season was difficult with the breakage of one or two engines at each round, we managed to rebuild an engine each time to finish the race and be consistent and finish 1st or 2nd each time.
What was your season highlight?
Think it would be our consistency throughout the year because we didn’t manage to improve our best time, although we did set our best terminal with a 189.72mph run at the Main Event.
Toughest moment of the season?
The hardest moments were during the June round at Tierp Arena in Sweden when we broke both engines, rebuilding throughout the night but we were rolling again in the morning.
Sponsors/people to thank?
I would like to thank first of all my family who put up with my long absences while at the races and the hours spent in my workshop preparing the bike, as well as my sponsors; NGK, SARL Tanquerel, Erik Fauvel, SA Grente, Restaurant La Boucherie, BM SOUDURE, PRL le Grand calme Asnelles, Stephane Viel Plomberie and my faithful mechanics: Marius, Erik and Hervé. Thank you also to all my friends who supported me during this season.
The team won’t be resting on their laurels in 2024 with a bigger 1855cc bullet dropping into the frame during the offseason. Ignition issues now seemingly resolved and the bike looking a lot more stable at season’s end, Maurice will definitely be in contention for a championship repeat next year as well as a 7.0 (or better) ticket also on the cards.
Text and photo: Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes