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Antti Pyrhönen Column nr 4

Published on 24.11.2011 11:10

Dear friends,
My racing season started ten months ago and ended in October with a big party in Lahti to celebrate my Finnish Supercross title. We had a couple of drinks with friends and sponsors at the price giving ceremony. Everyone  involved in the Finnish motocross scene was there and when I walked in the room I got a heart-warming applause which made me real proud of what I have achieved.
It was a nice evening with positive people including old friends that I had not seen for months or more. Good thing the racing finished on Saturday evening so we had the night to blow off steam and sleep longer on Sunday morning.
Having been out of the game for more than one year and to come back with a fourth place in the MX3 World Championship plus another Finnish title in my pocket, I can only be a very happy man.
Sauli ‘Eppu’ Mäkelä did a really great job in bringing the Supercross back to Lahti where it was a big hit in the ‘80’s – the successful racing days of Pekka Vehkonen and Mika Kouki. Eppu deserves the credits for sticking his neck out and giving the Lahti SX a rebirth. He helped me setting up a VIP area with 50 guests, all went smoothly so a big thanks goes to him and everyone involved.
I continue having the passion and focus for my sport and my motivation never has been higher to make a next step in 2012. Start healthy, work hard and then we are in the running for the World title next year. I can hardly wait for the start of the next MX3 adventure, woow check out that cool Battery poster.
In Lahti I had several meetings with existing and potential new sponsors. In these days where most people constantly talk about crisis I am happy to tell you that I have renewed my agreement with my key sponsors RASK, Battery Energy Drink, Sinisalo, Honda Bike World, Black Seven, Fit24, Forma, Shoei, HGS, Haan wheels, Moto-Master, Twin-Air, Castrol. Not only do they continue but at least half of them even increased their support which is a great sign of their believe in me. And I can announce that the well-known company Würth has come onboard with me as a new sponsor.
The weeks after Lahti I have used to meet with friends, have longer coffee breaks and enjoy some relaxing nights in the city. Forget the pressure of racing, have fun to round up the year. But I cannot relax and free-wheel too long, preparations for the new season started beginning of November.
A few weeks after Lahti I was back at the daily job. People may think that racing World Championship motocross is not a fulltime job but running your own racing team sure is a 24/7 obligation!
The daily work begins with every day’s basic training to stay fit and in shape. Running and gym training is essential. Gym is a ‘must’, not so much with heavy weights but more cardio to stay flexible and keep the muscles alive. Eat well and rest well is also a serious part of preparing myself to be in top shape for the moment the gate drops for another race.
Another key point for me is to assist with the preparation of the bikes and get everything organized for bikes and parts. The 2012 season will be the 4th year in the existence of my own AP Racing Team. I will stay on Honda, my bikes are in the qualified hands of my good friend and loyal mechanic Jussi Heikkonen and that gives me a great feeling to start a new season full of confidence!
Insiders know I demand a lot from myself and my team. During his first year with me Jussi rapidly learned my way of working, soon he was able to work on his own. That takes a lot of work out of my hands. It leaves me more time to do other stuff and I never have to worry about my bikes. They all run smooth and I never had a DNF (did not finish) this year. Jussi enjoys travelling and that is important as we did almost 30.000 km this year to go to all the events. He is a key person in my team and he deserves a big thank you.
Another subject that takes a lot of time is the communication with sponsors and press to keep everyone updated and informed. For the big races in Finland like the MX3 and the SX we set up a big VIP are to entertain our guests and of course all these things take time and planning and money.
I can tell you now that we had an offer from a well-respected motocross Grand Prix team to join forces for next year in our attack on the title. For negotiations I travelled with my manager to the Czech Republic and I want to thank the Ufo Racing Team for a great proposal.
However, I left the decision for a while, knowing that I have my own way of working. I admit that I am very demanding and that is why we decided to stay independent and continue with my own team and I feel great about this.
I want my bikes to be tip-top, I am used to ride quite a lot during the week and have my mechanic always by my side so we can test new parts or update existing parts and find new settings to improve our result. That was a reason to continue with my own team, also because sponsors continue to supply the budget to make it possible.
  
We have heard that champion Julien Bill is not in a position to do the World Championship next year. Second man Milko Potisek goes to the MX1 but I am sure there will be Martin Michek and a couple of new guys to fight with me for the 2012 World Championship in MX3.
Early January I will travel to Chile and spend 5-6 weeks with the Noemi family to do basic training with the bike and some races under the sun and visit friends and sponsors that I have over there. At the moment we have a hard winter in Finland I will leave the snow and below zero degrees behind for the better weather over there in South America.
The road to score success in 2012 will be long and there will be difficulties to overcome but with the people who work with me and those who support me I am positive. The Finnish TV is thinking about a format to follow me next year in my MX3 races so that will be good for Finnish motocross and for my team.
When all is more clear and when there is more news I will report in a next column. In the meantime I continue my hard work because the sweet smell of success is such an addiction and brings so much respect from sponsors and fans. It all motivates me to continue what I love doing.
I wish everyone the best.

Kiitos !  Antti