Ready for the new season
By Antti Pyrhönen | 04 Apr 2012
Dear friends, this column I am writing in my camper parked at Dirkx Honda shop in Belgium. The Dirkx family is really a fantastic support to me and my team. We can park our camper and van at their place, my mechanic Jussi and I can work in their workshop. All this is very valuable to me.
Living in a camper is tough on some days but this is the life of a motocross rider so overall it is okay. I remember the days when we had a big house in Belgium in 2009 and 2010 and in the night I woke up when the heater started and thought of the money it was burning. I woke up in the morning calculating the cost of having a house there.
It has been a hectic time with nearly two months of testing and practicing in Belgium and Holland, I did 4 Dutch Open championship races and the last weekend of March we were free. To have days of rest is important so we are now taking it a bit easy with the first MX3 World Championship race this coming Easter weekend in Valkenswaard, Holland.
That track is just across the border from where we have our European base so there is not far to travel. I am looking forward to the first of our 10 MX3 events for the World title. It is time to start the season and I am ready for it. It is good to know that many of my family and friends will come over to Valkenswaard to see me race and support me.
When I say that I am ready for Valkenswaard I mean that we have done a full testing and training schedule, I know what it takes to be ready for my target this year. A target that is to be competitive and steady over the whole season. Ready to be fighting for a podium place in every race and I plan to be racing for the title right until the last event in Germany September 23rd.
RACING THE DUTCH OPEN IN DEEP SAND
I started this March in four Dutch Open Championship races that can be called mini GP’s as many international riders use these meetings to test their bikes and shape their bodies. These Dutch tracks are really tough and deep sand tracks to make it a serious test who is fit and fast. My results may not be truly exciting but overall I am okay the way things went. We have tested a lot of engine settings and new material like pistons, suspension to find out what works and does not work for me.
In Heerde I was involved in a start crash and came back strong, in another race I got my goggles bombarded with sand coming from another rider’s rear wheel and I had to stop and clean them. In some races I got arm pump which is like a cramp as the body slowly gets used to racing a motocross bike on very demanding tracks. The Dutch tracks are so demanding that it was sure a good preparation for Valkenswaard.
The Valkenswaard track will be the roughest of the roughest because we are mixed with 3 other World Championship classes, the MX1, the MX2 and the ladies WMX class. The playing stops when the gate drops.
The schedule in Valkenswaard is new as we have practice beginning early in the morning on Sunday and our two motos on Easter Monday will start at 11.10 and 17.10. That means very long days and a long interval between our races but I won’t let it mess up my head. With so many classes on the same track promoter Youthstream tries new ways and this is great for the sport. This mix with MX1 and MX2 brings us MX3 riders new opportunities to show what we are capable of.
In Valkenswaard you don’t need the fastest bike, it is more important to have a smooth riding bike. With my technical sponsors we have build a good package and in basics my bike is how I want it with the HGS exhaust system, the Twin Air products, the Motomaster Brakes, the injection settings that we find best, with Jussi’s suspension, etc.
We have tested many other parts like pistons and camshafts but we keep that for later. In the first GP at Valkenswaard it is important to have an easy to ride bike and not search for maximum power. The second moto we will face a totally messed up track, the Dutch and Belgian riders are used to it but with the experience I have under my belt I also know what to do.
My own condition is good and in the direction that I want it to be. I have done so much and hard training while we were in Belgium that my body hurts when waking in the morning. But we know for a fact that my hard work will pay off later and is an investment for the long and demanding season.
THE UPDATED CALENDAR
It is of course unfortunate that Finland gave back the MX3 race. It has been such a great race for me in front of enthusiastic fans and sponsors. I scored 3 podiums in 3 Finnish MX3 races 2008,2009 and 2011. I won my home GP in 2009 and that day has never been out of my mind.
The calendar has been updated recently and is good with 10 events which is well balanced for the MX3 class as the riders are private teams and need to keep an eye on cost. Race dates are more logical for traveling from location to location so that helps us as well. Who will be the main challengers remains to be seen, I have noticed some riders from MX1 and MX2 made their move to our class to make it more interesting.
In my career I had 11 podium scores, I can tell you it is never easy to finish in a podium position. Last year the season ended with races in Slovenia and France and I stood on the podium in both events. It is a good score to build on so hope to see you in Valkenswaard.
Terveisin, Antti !
Photo: Harry van Hemmen
Read the next news: Valkenswaard – The Circuit (04 Apr 2012)
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