AP24RACING duo at the starting gate

B-Moto´s Antti Pyrhönen and Ludde Söderberg Race Report MX3 2012

Published on 11.6.2012 13:08


The village of Orehova Vas –just outside Maribor near the Austrian border- has been the venue for international motocross events and for many riders it is one of the nicest tracks in Europe. It is all natural terrain with a long uphill start, fast corners, big jumps and many places to pass … if it is dry.

AP24RACING team members Antti and Ludde have been racing here before and both had a good feeling for round six of the MX3 series. There will be four more events after Slovenia although the round in Portugal in September is still waiting to be confirmed so maybe there will be just 3 races left. This would mean that Antti and Ludde need to step up their results to be able to improve their championship positions.


When the riders came to Slovenia it was hot and perfect – too bad on Saturday the weather would change in the afternoon.  In the free practice Antti took fourth place.  “It was dry and I was satisfied with my riding and my speed so all looked good. Then the rain came down like on so many of our MX3 races this year, making the qualifying race very difficult. The mud was horrible and I did not manage to pull off a good start so it was hard work and doing the best I could I ended in eight position. But in the free practice I felt good so that gives me confidence for race day and let’s hope the weather will stay good on Sunday.”

The regular MX3 guys could be found in the top five of the qualifying race. Normally Ludde can be found near tenth position but as for his team boss young Söderberg was struggling with the conditions. “Aah Saturday and here comes our weekly mud race,” was his reaction. “When we started our race it was raining hard and I crashed in the start. So when I got going I was about dead last and it became hard work. I had some good passing, my lap times were among the best and it felt good to finish 14th with 39 riders on the gate so I passed more than twenty. We looked at the girls in their qualifying race struggle to get around the track and their race was even red flagged after 8 minutes, it was too much for most.”

Saturday qualifying times: 1. Matevz Irt, (SLO, Suzuki) 26:00.598; 2. Matthias Walkner, (AUT, KTM) + 0:00.467; 3. Michael Staufer, (AUT, KTM)  + 0:02.647; 4. Klemen Gercar, (SLO, Honda) + 0:14.427; 5. Günter  Schmidinger, (AUT, Honda) + 0:32.742; 6. Saso Kragelj, (SLO, Yamaha)  + 0:59.482; 7. Lukasz Lonka, ( POL, Honda) + 1:02.558; 8. ANTTI PYRHÖNEN,  (FIN, Honda) + 1:04.023; 9. Jernej Irt, (SLO, Suzuki) + 1:12.482; 10. Rok Bekanovic, (SLO, Yamaha) + 1:16.834; 14. LUDDE SÖDERBERG, (FIN. Honda) + 2:00:538


During the night our riders could hear the rain falling non-stop. Every Sunday the MX3 round begins with a warm up session at 10.00 in the morning and the rain never stopped.
“Maybe half of the riders stayed dry in their shelter; the other half including myself and Antti went out on the track and test the conditions,” said Ludde. “The track is ride able but really wet and sticky with some big puddles of water at the lower parts. I did 3 laps and set second best time behind Walkner with Antti being third. Fingers crossed for the two motos today.”

The first moto started with a short delay and the early top five was Staufer, Gercar, Walkner, Irt and then in fifth Antti who came round with an 8 second gap. The lap times for every rider were 20-30 seconds slower than under dry conditions to express the extra difficulties for the riders.

Staufer would crash out of the moto, Gercar was by far the fastest and won the race in great style with Irt second and Walkner third. The championship leader Walkner seems to be able to defend his position in every MX3 round and looks the man to beat this year.
Antti settled for a steady race and gained one spot with Staufer –one of his challengers in the points- dropping out. His lead on Schmidinger was never under 18 seconds. With his victory Gercar passed Antti in the championship but Michek had a bad race so the AP24RACING boss stayed in fourth.

Ludde rode a strong race and picked up another ten World Championship points. Pity he made things complicated for himself due to a mistake on the second lap. He came round in 17th on the opening lap, on lap two he dropped to 21st and finishing 10th was strong.


Klemen Gercar continued to dominate this event by taking a second win leading from the first lap. Antti came round for the first time in eight and Ludde in fifteenth. Both of them managed to deliver a strong fight under slightly better conditions and the lap times were close. Slowly Antti gained a place although Irt took him back at one stage. On lap eleven Pyrhönen moved up to fourth place and with great lap times he closed in on Walkner and challenged the championships number one. Although Irt is the local rider he did not get another chance to steal fourth from Antti.

“Again the start was bad, however on theory I had the speed to finish second today and that would have given me a podium score which was the target. I moved up to fourth and really had a good fight with Walkner as in Croatia, after I had closed the gap on him. Then a lapped rider got in my way and sprayed my goggles full with mud so I lost my drive and had to accept that Walkner also in this moto finished in front of me. He is gone in the points standing but for position 2 to 5 are a handful of candidates. Today I lost a chance for the podium but I have not lost my motivation for the next rounds. Good we have a Finnish SX next weekend and then a one week break to relax a bit at home.”

Ludde also took a position on the every lap in the beginning. Michek passed him but he was the only one and again Ludde delivered a tenth score.  “I did a good race again after a poor start. Once I caught the guy in front of me I made a good pass and set a new target for the next guy. In the break before Slovakia I need to work on my starts and improve to be able to finish higher and make a next step. Overall it was a good weekend under the changing weather conditions. And I got closer to ninth place in the championship. After the next MX3 I am going to put in some hard work with a next target to beat the number nine guy and even chase the number eight though he is 26 points ahead at the moment.”


Moto One:  1. Klemen Gercar; 2. Matevz Irt; 3. Matthias Walkner;  4. ANTTI PYRHÖNEN;  5. Günter Schmidinger; 6. Saso Kragelj; 7. Myko Pashchynsky; 8. Lukasz Lonka; 9. Martin Michek;  10. LUDDE SÖDERBERG

Moto Two: 1. Gercar; 2. Schmidinger; 3. Walkner; 4. PYRHÖNEN; 5. Irt; 6. Bartos; 7. Staufer; 8. Lonka; 9. Michek; 10. SÖDERBERG

MX3 championship classification: 1. Matthias Walkner, 228 points; 2. Günter Schmidinger, 198; 3. Klemen Gercar, 192; 4. ANTTI PYRHÖNEN, 179; 5. Martin Michek, 1696  6. Matevz Irt, 155; 7. Michael Staufer, 135; 8. Lukasz Lonka, 116; 9. Petr Bartos, 105; 10. LUDDE SÖDERBERG, 90