Tom Vialle will not make his Team France MXoN debut in Assen and the reason will surely blow your mind.
The FFM have announced that Tom Vialle has been replaced in the French team by Maxime Renaux. Vialle hasn’t been injured and will race in Turkey this weekend in the penultimate MXGP round of 2019 so what gives?
Team France is never too far away from controversy and whether it’s motocross or football, French national teams have a habit of catching headlines that aren’t sport related.
With both Marvin Musquin and Dylan Ferrandis ruling themselves out of contention for this month’s Motocross of Nations in Assen, it appeared Team France had avoided any banana skins.
This statement from the French federation, however, suggests differently…
Translated, it reads: “I’m really saddened by this situation, especially for Tom, but for my part, I consider that the drivers must first wear the colours of France in MXdN” said Jacques Bolle, president of the FFM. “Trademarks are necessary but they can not impose their diktat [sic] at the expense of the national colours. “Gautier Paulin Maxime Renaux and Jordi Tixier therefore represent France at the next MXdN 28 and 29 September.”
Yesterday David Vuillemin – who’s been an outspoken critic of the French federation – said he was aware of a rumour that put Vialle’s place on the team in jeopardy…
Writing on his Twitter account Vuillemin suggested that a disagreement on the size and location of Red Bull sponsor logos on the ‘horrible’ French team jersey could force Vialle out of the squad.
Surely that’s too crazy to be true, even for the French?
Well you would think so. But Vuillemin didn’t appear to be shocked by the rumour. Here’s what he said: “Rumour of the day, Tom Vialle might be excluded of Team France for MXdN because the French federation and Red Bull can’t agree on logo sizes and location on the horrible French jersey riders have to use for that race. Even in my days, it was a nightmare. I’m not surprised at all.”
So Vialle is out and Renaux is in!
Update September 3, 15:50 BST: David Vuillemin has offered an unconfirmed insight into the Red Bull logo dispute… Vuillemin says the reason Vialle got removed from the team was about a Red Bull hat as opposed to the previous reported logo size/location. You’ll know form the countless shots of Red Bull athletes, they all wear Red Bull hats. Apparently the Red Bull logo on a Team France hat was the sticking point. Vuillemin says that wasn’t acceptable for the French federation.
What do you make of this humdinger from the FFM? And how much of the blame lays with Red Bull? Join the conversation with us on Twitter and Facebook.