How Hector Faubel went from Moto3 World Champion to CEO of his own team
It is a completely different experience seeing everything from inside the pit-box rather than watching the motorcycle races from the stands, where the audience is absolutely unaware of what is going on behind the pit lane. Today, those stands are empty and the only sound you can hear is the roar of a Yamaha R6 600R that Hector Faubel is trying out in what seems to have become his second home, the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain. “I still get goosebumps every time I hear that sound,” he says.
At 34, Hector can boast a long 12-year career as a professional motorbike racer. Having started really young, he has accumulated numerous achievements over the years. He was champion of Spain in 125cc and 250cc, had eight victories in the Grand Prix and 34 podiums overall. However, he is best known for almost taking home the title of the 2007 world championship in the 125cc category, finishing in second place just five points below his opponent.
Despite his success, he has always remained humble and fondly remembers his first memory with a motorbike. "At seven years old, instead of being given a ball to play football or a racket to play tennis, I was given a motocross bike," he says. "It all started like a game, I never thought I would get to the world championship."
Hector did his first proper race when he was eight years old, and it wasn’t long until he signed his first professional contract. “When I was 16, I was earning 12,000 euros a month, and as I come from a humble and hardworking family, my parents freaked out because in just two months I earned more than they did in a whole year.”
Nonetheless, it was not an easy time for him. “It was very hard at first because I was apart from my family and friends," he says. "I was in Japan alone, with people I barely knew. I was very young and immature, and I remember crying a lot,” That was just one of the things that troubled him. Working in such a competitive industry with so much money at stake, it was not hard for him to find double-faced people with vested interests.
“When you’re on the cutting edge of your career, you have many friends, but when you’re no longer there those who you thought were your friends, disappear. It’s a bit like life itself, but that’s what the experience forces you to learn.”
He had a career marked by success, but his lack of stability, as he went through constant changes of category, prevented him from being at the top year after year. That added to the fact that he met the love of his life, who is a singer, got married and had a child.
“My life as a motorcycle racer was really hectic and I preferred to spend more time with my family,” he says. His last victory before retiring, in 2012, was in Sachsenring.
“It was a very hard decision to make. I never made any official statement because I wasn’t prepared to accept it. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. When you retire you find yourself out of place, I felt like I didn’t know how to do anything else than riding a motorcycle – and that scared me,” he recalls.
Leaving his dream behind wasn’t easy for Hector, but he positively remembers that painful experience as “part of the path we have to travel and learn from”. He continues: “Life is about living it.”
Two years after retiring, he founded his own racing team, Fau55. Without motorbikes, he thought something in his life was lacking. “I was bored without them in my life and I needed to keep my mind occupied," he says. "I decided to give it a shot and try it as a hobby and now it is already a professional team. We have grown very fast in a short time and that means we are going in the right direction.”
With this new project, his goal is to inspire and help young racers achieve their dreams by transmitting his knowledge and encouraging them to not commit the same mistakes as him.
“I try that what has happened to me doesn’t happen to my racers so they don’t stumble over the same stone. I want my experience to help them make the road to the world championship as simple as possible.”
When asked about what his long-term plans are, he doesn’t hesitate a second to say, while smiling: “My dream would be to take my team to MotoGP, but I’m still very young and I’m not in a hurry,” he says. “I’m a person that knows that if you dream, in the end you can get it with hard work, and I think we will achieve it someday.”
“I would never have thought that all this could happen when I was a kid. I never thought I would be competing against my idols, in circuits that I had always dreamed of racing.”