Antti Pyrhönen columnPublished on 07.7.2011 7:10
The pressure and pleasure of the MX3 in my own country
Dear fans and friends, I write this column on the way to the race in Ukraine. I just drove 500 km and now Jussi – my mechanic – takes the wheel. This is a new adventure for us; I have raced in many countries but never in the Ukraine so let’s see how it will work out. Whatever way, it will be a new route, a new challenge.”
There are presently some rumors about the MX3 round in Switzerland and the location for the race in Spain is still open so a couple of things are up in the air. Anyway the season goes fast and I need to step up my results because I want that third place back in the Championship.”
In this second column I hope to paint you the picture what it means to race a World Championship event in your own country. I mean the Vantaa MX3 weekend and all that is involved to make that race a success.
In the early days of my career I rode the Heinola 125 cc GP on a Husqvarna. Then followed a long period without a Finnish World Motocross Championship event. I was so happy in 2008 with a MX3 World Championship back in Finland; I showed my potential to my fellow countrymen with second place on the Heinola podium.
In 2009 I made my life-time dream come true when I won both MX3 motos in Vantaa. After a very long break away from the racing in 2010 I knew it would be tough to fight with Bill and Potisek in Vantaa this year but my expectations were high. The Finnish rounds have brought me my career highlights and that means a lot to me.”
Let me use this opportunity to explain what a home race means at the high level of the MX3 World Championship. Of course I wanted to do a good race and good results for myself, my loyal sponsors, my family, friends and fans. I have many people behind me and I didn’t want to disappoint them. That means extra pressure to do well but I can say it also brings a lot of pleasure!”
After Bulgaria we had a 7 weeks break before Vantaa, that may sound like holiday to many of you but the truth is so much different. I was happy to go home and stay in my own circle. But the pre-work for Vantaa started more or less from the moment I landed in Helsinki. Guess you don’t want to know my phone bill but can say my phone was red hot for most of the time to connect with sponsors, press, friends and anyone interested in my MX3 days.
Without my sponsors I could not race at this level so for me they are the center of attention. I spend a lot of time in communication, especially for my home race. I wanted them to come and see me in action, by that way I can pay them back for their support. Many of them only have an opportunity to come to the MX3 race once per year and I want them to have a great time.
We invited around 300 people for Vantaa and offered them food and drinks, a place to sit down and meet other people. My family and friends had set up a big VIP tent like in 2009. To set this up is a serious investment and many people were involved to whom I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
On the Thursday Merja and I started early to bring the stuff and build up the tent and get everything sorted with the help of many people. Battery filled the fridges with energy drinks and beer, we had a cook to prepare the salmon soup for lunch, we had coffee and pastry all day.
All was perfect, the sun was shining and my results put me on the podium at the end of a fantastic day. Many of our guests had never attended a motocross and they were really excited. Merja and my father and so many volunteers did a fantastic job to help and I send a big Thanks to all of you!
In these years 2008-2009-2011 I did 3 MX3 World Championship races in Finland and every year I stood on the podium with a win and two second places – that is a good average I would say. The year 2010 when I was injured I was in tears that I could not race in the Vantaa MX3.
The Finnish media treats me well and I am happy that I can bring motocross back to the public. My good friend Tapio does a lot of PR work for me in Finland and I am thankful for that. The TV and specially the Newspapers have been great to me. I have the feeling that many people respect what I did in Vantaa this year after having been out for more than one year with a serious injury.
My friend from Chile, Alejandro Noemi, came over to race in Vantaa with his mechanic Claudio and it was great to see them again since we said goodbye in Chile in February when my stay with the Noemi family had ended. It made me feel proud to have a big AP Racing tent next to our VIP tent with our 4 special black-yellow Honda bikes.
I will enclose a photo collage that the Sinisalo designer Toni Ruohonen did for their website. It shows a photo of my jubilant mood when I stepped on the podium combined with a photo when I crossed the finish line. I think these two photos sum up a perfect Vantaa weekend.
I have many people behind me who know how hard I work to make results, who know that I am a fighter. There are always people who try to knock you down and especially in the time when I was injured and now I am happy I have shut their mouths with my good result in Vantaa 2011.
The season is not over yet, we have worked hard on the bike settings to create more speed and I worked on myself to stand the heat from Bill, Potisek and Michek – the top three at the moment.
We have just passed the city of Budapest on the way to the border with the Ukraine. Plan is to put more pressure on the guys in front of me and realize more podium scores. You will be informed as usual about my Sunday’s race results by my mx buddy.
Thanks for your support! Antti