David Vuillemin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

David Vuillemin
Born (1977-10-18) 18 October 1977 (age 41)
Berre-l'Étang, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
Motocross career
Years active1995 - 2009
TeamsYamaha, Honda, Kawasaki
ChampionshipsWorld Supercross Champion 1999, 2001 Motocross Des Nations Champion
Wins6 FIM, 7 Supercross, 3 US Motocross
GP debut1995, GP of Spain, 125cc
First GP win1998 Bulgaria

David Vuillemin (born 18 October 1977) is a French professional motocross rider.

Amateur career[edit]

Born in Berre-l'Étang, Bouches-du-Rhône, Vuillemin started racing motorcycles at age 8 and was coached by his father Didier, himself a former professional rider. David had much success as an amateur and won many titles in France and Europe. He won his first major race in 1994, at the Metz Supercross. In 1996 he began to alternate between the United States, where he participated in the West 125cc championship, and the championships back Europe. In 1997 He took his first ever win in the USA as well as the European Supercross Championship title.

Professional career[edit]

David Vuillemin, spent the first part of his career racing and winning 125cc and 250cc Supercross and Motocross championships in Europe. David Vuillemin first landed on U.S. shores back in ‘96 as a guest of FMF Racing. Having seen the kid in action in Europe, Don Emler and crew imported the French teenager to contest a few rounds of the 125cc West SX Series. David got his first taste of Victory stateside in 1997 winning at the Kingdome in Seattle. Before moving to the States full-time, David collected the 1999 World Supercross Title. Stateside, the Frenchman is a seven-time Supercross winner and three-time Motocross winner. He has more than 40 podium finishes to his credit, and he was the top SX privateer in 2007 and the top MX privateer in 2006. He is one of only a couple riders that can say they beat Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael at the peak of their careers. David was also a member of the only winning French Motocross Des Nations team in 2001 and is currently the All Time King of Bercy. In the almost 30-year history of the event, no one was won more than Vuillemin.

In 1999, he won the World supercross championship. Vuillemin moved to the United States in 2000 full-time to contest the Supercross Class Championships.

In 2000, he switched to the 250cc and, as a rider for the Yamaha factory racing team. In his rookie season he won four races (San Diego, Phoenix, Minneapolis, New Orleans) in the supercross series on a YZ 250 and was in contention for the title. David stunned the US fans by beating Jeremy McGrath several times. His win in Phoenix was a special one as he was able to beat McGrath from behind, something that no one else could do at the time. He also won two outdoor motocross nationals (Sacramento and Mount Morris).

In 2001, he took his best finishes of fourth place at Daytona Beach and Salt Lake City. He also suffered a broken collar bone at the Minneapolis round putting a damper on his 2001 Supercross effort. In the AMA 250cc motocross series, he took the overall victory at the Mt. Morris round, and had five additional overall top-five finishes.

In 2002, he started the Supercross Series off with a win at Anaheim. Vuillemin won the AMA 250cc Supercross series races at Anaheim, San Diego, and Indianapolis, and earned 10 additional podium finishes and led Ricky Carmichael for half the championship until a mid week crash before the Dayton round would break Vuillemins shoulder blade forcing him to sit out the Daytona race and give up 25 points to Carmichael as well as the lead in the Championship. David never finished outside the 250cc Supercross top four and finished the Championship 2nd. His performance earned him "The Comeback Rider of the Year Award" at the end of the season banquet. Vuillemin raced a limited season in the AMA 250cc U.S. Motocross Championship after reinjuring his shoulder and forcing him to have surgery. He did however earn an overall second-place finish at Sacramento.

In 2003, Vuillemin raced a limited AMA 250cc Supercross season. He earned five podium finishes before breaking his back in the Daytona round putting him out for the remainder of the series. He contested the AMA 250cc U.S. Motocross Championship, earning five overall top five finishes.

Vuillemin contested the AMA 250cc Supercross series in 2004, earning seven podium finishes. He also raced in the AMA 250cc Motocross Championship, earning two overall podium finishes.

He posted similar results in 2005, fourth place in AMA Supercross series and fourth in AMA Motocross with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team.

For the 2006 season, he rode for the Bookoo/Honda team. This collaboration unfortunately did not work as expected. A reality show, The Reality of Speed was shot for Speed Channel during the practice sessions and races, as well as during staff meetings and it was clear to all that the team manager and David did not go along very well. After deciding to leave the team many feared that Vuillemin was about to retire or move back to Europe, but Vuillemin stayed and prove he could race upfront. He bounced back during the 2006 motocross season, as a privateer, riding a Yamaha YZ 450F. His greatly improved results placed him 7th overall and 1st privateer. His best finish came at the Millville round with a 2nd place overall behind Ricky Carmichael and ahead of James "Bubba" Stewart.

Vuillemin switched to the Team XYIENCE MDK, riding a Honda CRF 450 in 2007. His first race with the team came at the US Open in Las Vegas. On the first night Vuillemin led Carmichael and Stewart for half the race before falling to 3rd where he would finish. Vuillemin finished sixth in the American Supercross Championship earning him the Top Privateer Award. He finished tenth in the American Motocross Championship in the 450cc Class.

In the 2008 season, Vuillemin earned his way back to a Factory team racing for the Rockstar Makita Suzuki Team racing in the USA in both Supercross and Motocross in the 450cc class on the new fuel injected Suzuki RMZ. Vuillemin put in some great rides but also suffered several injuries forcing him to decide to retire racing in the US and return to Europe so he could finish his career where it started.

In 2009, Vuillemin raced a Kawasaki in Europe contesting the World Grand Prix Series as well as the French Championship. David was able to win the Elite MX1 class French National Title one las time before retiring at the end of the season.

After the 2009 season David spent time training and helping several riders and teams before accepting a job with the Motoconcepts Racing. He is currently working with them as Team Manager. Vuillemin is now prepared to showcase his ability off the track. Said Mike Genova, Team Owner and Entrepreneur, “DV knows exactly what it takes to win; he’s proven that on the track, without a doubt. David is also renowned for being able to set up and fine-tune the machinery to perfection. These attributes, plus his intelligence, sincere manner, and his fan and rider-friendly charisma, made the decision to hire him a no-brainer.”

First Wins: First 125 GP win in Belgium 98, first 250 GP win in Greece 99, first 250 USA SX win in San Diego 2000. "The "first wins" are great because that is what I've been working for since I was little." David Vuillemin


2009 French National MX1 Champion


2007 AMA Supercross Top Privateer 6th in AMA SX Series

2006 1st Place - Barcelona Supercross 1st Place - Fuente Alamo Supercross 6th Place - AMA Supercross 10th Place - AMA Motocross 2nd Place - Spring Creek MX Park 3 Top-Five finishes in the AMA Supercross and Outdoor Nationals 12 top-ten finishes

2005 Team Yamaha USA 4th Championship US SX 250 4th AMA MX Championship

2004 Team Yamaha USA 4th Championship US SX 250 4th Championship US MX 250

2003 Team Yamaha USA 7th Championship US SX 250 6th Championship US MX 250 2nd place a US Open Las Vegas King Of Paris Bercy Supercross

2002 Team Yamaha USA 2nd Place AMA SX 250

2001 Team Yamaha USA 8th Championship US SX 250 5th Championship US MX 250 King Of Supercross de Paris Bercy (250) Winner of the SX Stade de France in Paris, France Winner Motocross des Nations (with Seguy and Demaria)

2000 Team Yamaha USA Winner SX US 250 : 4 victoires 4th MX US 250 : 2 victoires at Sacramento (CA) and Mt. Morris (PA) 5th World SX Championship 250 King of Bercy 2000 Winner of the Stade de France in Paris, France

1999 Yamaha Motor France 3rd World MX Championship 250cc World SX Champion 250cc King of Bercy 1999 Winner du Stade de France

1998 Yamaha Motor France French National Champion SX 250 French Motocross Elite Champion 125 Vice-Champion USA 125cc West SX US 125cc Vice-Champion World MX Championship 125cc Vice-Champion World SX Championship 250cc Winner Stade de France

1997 Champion d'Europe SX 125 Champion France SX 125 4th 125cc USA SX West Coast Vice-Champion France Elite 125cc 6th World Championship 125cc Prince of Bercy 1997

1996 Champion d'Europe SX 125 Champion de France SX 125 6th France Elite Championship 16th World Championship 125cc Prince of Bercy 1996


  • Vice-Champion Europe SX 125
  • Vice-Champion France SX 125
  • 6th France Elite Championship 125
  • 31st World Championship 125


  • 4th France Junior Championship
  • 11th France Elite Championship 125
  • 5th France SX Championship 125

1993 7th France 125 Juniors Championship 8th France SX championship 125

1992 12th France 125 Junior Championship

1991 Vice-Champion Minivert " 80 cadet " 3rd France 80 Cadet Championship

1990 Champion Minivert " 80 minime " 3rd France 80 Cadet Championship

1989 Champion Minivert " 80 Educatif " Champion de Provence 80cc

1988 Champion de Provence 60cc

Personal life[edit]

His most common nickname is "Cobra" or "Le Cobra". The most commonly accepted reason is his unnatural riding position, crouched forward, which itself is explained by the fact that his is taller (6 ft 2 in or 1.88 m) than the average professional motocross rider.

David married Erica Harbaugh in 2003, an American Citizen with whom he has 2 children, Charlotte and David. They divorced in 2013. He is a soccer and basketball fan, two sports that he practiced when he was young. He is an avid supporter of Olympique de Marseille and of the Los Angeles Clippers.