Seb Fontanelle celebrates victory with Cameron Beaubier at Road America. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

MotoAmerica’s international invasion hasn’t been limited to just riders. Case in point, Seb Fontanelle. Fontanelle came to the U.S. in 2018 to work for his friend and fellow Frenchman Valentin Debise on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team, and he’s continued to spin wrenches for top MotoAmerica teams ever since. This coming season will be his first with Ducati as Fontanelle will be joining the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati team.

What was your introduction to the motorcycle world?

Growing up, my father owned a motorcycle, and I looked forward to riding with him. As a teenager, in 2004, I started an apprenticeship at a Honda dealership. This dealership was and still is home to one of the strongest and most famous teams in the World Endurance Championship. This is where I got introduced to the racing world, and I got the chance to learn with some amazing people and fall in love with racing.

What led to you working in the MotoAmerica paddock?

My friend, Valentin Debise, who was riding for the Ulrichs at Team Hammer ECSTAR M4 Suzuki, invited me to the U.S. to replace his lead mechanic. After one season, I joined Team Hammer ECSTAR M4 Suzuki full time for four amazing years, starting with Bobby Fong in 2019 (where they won the Supersport Championship), Toni Elias in 2020, and Cameron Peterson in 2021. Following this, I followed Dave Weaver to put the BMW Tytlers Cycle Racing team on the grid and got some podiums and wins with Hector Barbera in 2022 and with Cameron Beaubier in 2023. For 2024, I have a new challenge in joining Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati in Superbike.

What part of the job do you enjoy the most?

The adrenaline of the race weekend, building the nicest and best race bike. Of course, winning and being on the podium is the best reward.

What part of the job is the most difficult?

Loading the truck at the end of a really hard race weekend, especially on a rainy day.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the racetrack?

I spend time with my family and dogs. And, of course, working on my personal bike, riding, and working on house projects.