Etienne Bax & Nicolas Musset
Etienne Bax (Driver)
Born on 9 August 1988 in Netherlands
Nicolas Musset (Passenger)
Born on 9 May 1994 in France
Etienne Bax underlined his reputation as one of the leading sidecar motocross riders of his generation this season when he raced to his fourth World title following a nail-biting finale on home ground at Oss.
Heading into the Dutch sand with three crews in the mix for the title, Bax – the reigning champion from 2019 after the pandemic caused the cancellation of last year’s series – remained rock-solid.
With France’s Nicolas Musset in the chair, Bax dominated the opening day’s single race with a champion’s performance that saw him head into the pair of motos on the final day of the championship with his confidence soaring.
With Marvin Vanluchene and his younger brother Robbie Bax holding the red plate and leading the second race, a pass was essential and Bax did exactly this to take victory and set the stage for the most dramatic finish in the sport’s history.
When Vanluchene crashed at the start of the third and final race, Bax kept his cool and brought it home in second to secure his fourth title.
A former roofer before turning professional in 2015, since 2012 Bax has also finished runner-up in the World Championship on three occasions and was fourth in 2016 and third in 2018 – remarkable statistics in a such a notoriously tough and taxing discipline.
A BIT ON THE SIDE!
What is the hardest role in off-road motorcycle sport? Well, a definitive answer may be open to debate, but it certainly does not get any tougher than being a passenger in a sidecar motocross outfit competing at World Championship level.
France’s Nicolas Musset is one of the true hardmen of off-road racing – whether it is on two or three wheels – and he proved that this year by partnering Etienne Bax to the World title.
Sidecar motocross passengers must be super-fit and brave as lions as they throw themselves around the chair to keep the outfit stable at all times.
In winning the 2021 title, Musset proved himself to be one of the best in the business.
A baker by trade, Musset first won the title back in 2017 with Bax and his reunion tour with the Dutchman this season proved to be a successful return for the partnership.
Etienne Bax (Driver) 2 World titles – 2021, 2019, 2017, 2015
Nicolas Musset (Passenger) World title – 2021, 2017
BAX AND MUSSET GRIND IT OUT
The 2017 FIM Sidecar Motocross World Championship once again featured a packed calendar of fourteen events across ten European countries, starting with the first of two visits to the Netherlands that bookended the season. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was a Dutchman who coped best with the soft, fine sand of the Oldebroek track, former champion Etienne Bax and his French team-mate Nicolas Musset delighting the home crowd by winning both of the weekend's two races in convincing fashion.
Fellow Dutchman and ten-time World Champion Daniel Willemsen, riding with Etienne's younger brother Robbie as passenger, opened his 2017 victory account at round two in the Ukraine, before Frenchman Valentin Giraud, who returned to the series with his Latvian passenger Elvijs Mucenieks after missing last season, staked his title credentials with a double win on home soil at Chaumont in round four.
Giraud's challenge faltered over the following rounds with reliability issues and an inconsistent starting technique, allowing Bax and Musset to claim doubles at Iffendic in France and Strassbessenbach in Germany as they extended their series lead. However, Giraud and Mucenieks then capitalised on a drought of seven races without a win for Bax and Musset, winning five of them to haul themselves back into contention with a couple of rounds to go.
Bax and Musset bounced back, though, to take another double win at the penultimate round in Rudersburg, Germany, which put them on the brink of a title they were able to wrap up in front of another big home crowd at Markelo.