Marvin Vanluchene & Nicolas Musset
Marvin Vanluchene (Driver) born on 26 December 1995 in Tielt, Belgium
Nicolas Musset (Passenger) born on 09 May 1994 iin France
BACK ON TOP!
There is a saying that it is harder to retain a title than win one in the first place and Marvin Vanluchene can attest to the fact it is no easy task to regain a title either, although five years on from his first crown the Belgian returned to the top as the 2023 FIM Sidecar Rider World Champion.
Vanluchene had not finished outside the top-three rankings since winning in 2018 and this year saw him teaming up for the first time with Nicolas Musset in the sidecar and despite the Frenchman’s wealth of experience the odds looked stacked against the pair.
However, no-one had told Vanluchene this and at the opening round in Spain at the end of March he steered his outfit to a pair of race wins and one week later in Portugal he doubled up again. Having gained the red championship leader plate at the opening event, it was something Marvin would not relinquish throughout the entire series.
With round three in the Czech Republic cancelled, Vanluchene was absent from the top step of the podium for the first time in 2023 in the Netherlands in the middle of May when he ran four-three, but two weeks later he re-established his dominance with second and first finishes in France.
A pair of second places in Estonia ensured he retained the red leader’s plate and one week later, as the series passed the halfway mark in Poland, he only lost the overall on a tie-break with defending champions Etienne Bax and Ondrzej Cermak.
Belgium was next up at the end of June where Vanluchene emerged with a pair of fourth-placed finishes followed up by two thirds in Germany in mid-July. The series then crossed the English Channel for back-to-back rounds in Northern Ireland and Great Britain where Vanluchene scored two-one and one-two race results before doubling up in August in the Czech Republic.
A pair of second-placed finishes in Germany saw Vanluchene heading to France with a clear advantage and he sewed things up with a decisive double at the final round.
PALMARES - VANLUCHENE
Rider’s World Title – 2018, 2023
Passenger’s World Title – 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013
TITLE NUMBER THREE!
Already no stranger to the feeling of being an FIM Sidecar Motocross Passenger World Champion after winning in 2017 and 2021 with Dutch legend Etienne Bax at the controls, Nicolas Musset has a wealth of hard-earned experience in the sidecar which he needed to draw upon this year.
For 2023 the twenty-nine-year-old Frenchman joined forces with Belgium’s Marvin Vanluchene for the first time and with any new partnership comes new challenges, however the pair gelled immediately with double victories at the opening two rounds of the FIM Sidecar Motocross World Championship in Spain and Portugal.
Establishing an early lead that they would simply refuse to surrender, Musset’s former partner Bax with Ondrzej Cermak in the chair provided the main opposition to their dominance and the defending champions pushed them hard all year, although ultimately they had no answer to the new dream team.
A quick look at the results tables tells the tale of an incredibly successful season…
Out of the twenty-six motos that Musset contested this season he won twelve, was second eight times and third on three occasions – basically, he only missed the podium in three races all year – with these finishes translating into six overall victories, four seconds and two thirds from thirteen rounds of racing. Consistency is key in any protracted championship fight and when you have got the ability to run at the front almost every weekend then your rivals are always going to face an uphill battle.
The icing on the cake of Musset’s sensational season came in France at Castelnau-de-Lévis on the first day of October when he signed off in the same manner he started the year with another double win that only served to underline his dominance.
PALMARES - MUSSET
Passenger’s World Title – 2017, 2021, 2023