Rumours spread out late last week that Kyosho Japan had shipped out pre-production MP9 kits to a select few of their factory drivers. So yesterday afternoon we decided to head to the home track of French Team Kyosho International factory driver Jerome Aigoin in hope to find Jerome testing the MP9.
When we arrived, needless to say we were delighted to find Jerome’s yellow & blue MP9 flying around the track.
We took some action pictures while Jerome ran a few more tanks and then sat down with him for a Q & A session.
Click Read More…NB: It was about time…!
Jerome: Yeah, finally, I got my MP9. The Worlds are approaching very quickly, only one month to get used to the car and get it dialed in. I finished building the car on Saturday and ran it for the first time on Sunday at another track. I already ran about 5 Liters.

NB: How was the assembly?
Jerome: As you would expect from Kyosho. Flawless. One thing I had to do on the 777 was to use a reamer to free-up the hinge pins in the arms. That’s no longer needed on the MP9. The hinge pins are free inside the arms, box-stock. Then I don’t really know, it is a pre-production kit, may be kyosho will change a few things to make the assembly even better.

“Kanai took a lot of time to design that car, but he’s got the job done.”

NB: Your 777 is definitely one of the fastest in Europe. You have the reputation of putting a lot of personal touches on your cars and the 777 is no exception. You have changed the shock position, different shock bodies lengths, etc… not to mention you’re a torsen diff addict. That car was really dialed. So how is the box-stock MP9 performing against your triple seven?
Jerome: Better than expected, really! I ran it first time on a flat, slipery low grip, fast track. I built the car with oil shocks and oil diffs that I thought would be a good base for that track, and straight out of the box, the MP9 was nearly as fast as my 777 that I had brought for a back to back comparasion. On the second day of testing, I started to play with the front end geometry to see how far I could go in terms of steering . At the end of day two, I could go as fast as the 777. I was stunned. You know, I usually need to put quite some work on my cars to get what I really want, but the MP9 was right there. Kanai took a lot of time to design that car, but he’s got the job done.
You know, I was really freaking out to receive the new car so late for the Worlds, but I am more relaxed now.

NB: How would you describe the MP9 vs 777?
Jerome: Well, the 777 didn’t have a particularly easy rear end. Kanai has rectified this on the new car. The MP9 exits turns very well, the rear end is so stable. The MP9 has less roll than the 777. The car just is simply so easy to drive. Today, it is my 3rd day of testing and the first time at my home track, which is a bumpy high grip track with a lots of ruts. I stiffened the front a bit using harder springs; I am happy with the result. But it is still really early testing you know.
The car is a lot lighter, so possibly we can use lighter shock oils than with the 777. That’s really what I am going to work on, shock positions, oils, springs, etc… I’ll be racing the MP9 at the French Cup in a couple of weeks. Racing the MP9 against Savoya and my brother Yannick. That is going to be a good test before the Worlds and see how it matches up against the competiton.

NB: On the subject of the Worlds in the USA this coming September, you raced there at the warm-up last year, so you already have a little experience there. How do you rate your chances? How will the other Euro drivers do?
Jerome: At the ’06 Worlds in Indonesia I set my target for the Semi. I made it. Actually I even had my spot for the A-main until my receiver battery died. So this year, my target is definitely to make the A-main. After, you know, once you’re in the A-main, it’s one hour long, everything can happen. So really my goal is making the A-main.
I am not too worried about the fact it is an American track. I raced at the NitroPit last year. I qualified pretty well and made both buggy and truggy A-mains.
But then, I don’t really know. It’s been almost one year since I raced there and I don’t really follow the American scene that closely…
I remember in ’06, there was that kid I never heard of who made it into the A-main (Bobby Tillman). Now, you’re talking to me about this new kid from Canada (Ty Tessman) who’s been impressive recently. May be another American kid will come out of the blue at the Worlds. I don’t know, so really I am not concerned about this. I’ll drive my best, not thinking about who else is fast. That’s all.

NB : Jerome, thanks for your time and here at NB we wish you the best of luck for the Worlds.
Jerome: You’re welcome