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B-Moto’s Antti Pyrhönen is now 5th in MX3 World Championship

Published on 02.7.2012 10:24

ROUND SEVEN: SENKVICE, SLOVAKIA

Ludde Söderberg in action

Antti Pyrhönen in action

THE HEAT IS ON 
 
The village of Senkvice near Slovakia’s capital Bratislava is well-known to Antti who raced here in the previous year. “I was here in 2010 with my team rider Ale Noemi and I raced here myself in 2011. This track is so fast, the lap times are very close with at least ten guys within one minute. And it will be dusty under the burning sun and nearly 40 degrees in the daytime.”

Friends and family had come over from Finland and the Czech Republic to watch and support Antti in one of the crucial races in the championship. “I am setting my target high, I go for a win.” That sounded bold so let’s see.

NO SHADOW AT ALL

The sun was at full speed when the 42 riders revved their bikes to get ready for the first race. Old army trucks from the Iron curtain days had watered the track or shall we say they tried to? The race track is laid out very nicely in a valley, next to the village center and gives a great view for the spectators… though many people must have preferred enjoying a nearby lake instead of getting burned under the sun watching motocross riders go by.

In the first race, conditions were pretty okay except for the heat cooking the riders under their helmet. Antti made a good inside pass and was running fifth among the best MX3 riders. When Irt fell Antti had a good fight with championship leader Walkner and he made a great race when he pushed the Austrian back one place. This was Antti at his best, challenging Matthias with youngsters Gercar and Irt on his heels. Too bad he twisted his same knee a bit which slowed him down and immediately the challengers placed their attack.

Antti: “The start was not so good but I had a good line and giving full gas I improved a lot in the first hundred meters. Then the race was going pretty good and I had third place in my hands when I beat Walkner after a good fight with him. On the same lap I twisted my knee so bad and it was very painful for several laps. I lost my rhythm and could not push so hard any more. I had to ride careful especially in the right hand corners which opened the door for Gercar. I tried to hang on but Irt was really fast so he got by as well.”

“That was a real pity when I had to settle my speed and these guys took two places from me. In the closing stages I found some extra speed and my lap times were strong again. Conditions were really hard and under such a hot sun you have to save energy to reach the end of the race without making any errors.”

Ludde was laying down in his van getting his breath back. “I started around 20th and rode my best and moved up, some guys crashed. Some 15 minutes into the race most of my body energy had been used. Having a flu does not really help when conditions are so tough. On the last laps I found some reserves and rode stronger and had a good scrap with other guys. I did not make great start but improved during the race, fourteenth is more or less what was possible being sick.”

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

The second start put Antti and Ludde wheel on wheel going into the first turn, their positions around top ten. Antti quickly made some good moves and climbed to seventh with a few riders in front that he kept in sight while the leaders rapidly disappeared in the dust that was really making vision very limited and racing became dangerous in various places.

Antti was saving energy and keeping an eye on the others, moving to fourth during the moto. “I could not find a gap to make a better start but my ride was good through the dust. In some places you really had to be careful where to put your wheel. Then I was struggling with my rear brake for a couple of laps, I don’t know what caused it but suddenly it came back again. So I regained my speed and moved from seven to four which was the best I could do, the top was too far ahead. Physically it was a heavy race because track and weather conditions were horrible. With one of my best race weekends and just one point short from a podium place I have to be okay, although I lost a place in the rankings. However the differences are just a couple of points and a medal is still possible.”

Ludde was clear about his second race. “The start was probably the worst of the season. I just could not race like I usually do as I was lacking energy. For most of the time I just sat on the saddle end tried to make it to the end. No power at all, the flu and the heat got the best of me. Eighteenth, that was the best I could do.”

The next MX3 will be in England near Winchester, combined with MX1 and MX2 like the first round in Valkenswaard. The MX3 in Portugal will not happen so there are now 4 motos left, England and then the last race in Teutschenthal, Germany, again with MX1 and MX2.

But first, a 7-week summer break. We will be back.

RESULTS:

Moto One:  1. Martin Michek; 2. Klemen Gercar; 3. Michael Staufer; 4. Matevz Irt;  5. ANTTI PYRHÖNEN; 6. Günter Schmidinger; 7. Petr Bartos; 8. Matthias Walkner; 9. Lukasz Lonka; 10. Petr Michalec; 14.  LUDDE SÖDERBERG

Moto Two: 1. Michek; 2. Walkner; 3. Gercar;  4. PYRHÖNEN; 5. Bartos; 6. Michalec; 7. Schmidinger; 8. Dimitry Parshin; 9. Staufer; 10. Levy Batista; 18. SÖDERBERG

MX3 championship standings: 1. Matthias Walkner, 261 points; 2. Klemen Gercar, 234; 3. Günter Schmidinger, 227; 4. Martin Michek, 219;  5. ANTTI PYRHÖNEN, 213; 6. Matevz Irt, 173; 7. Michael Staufer, 167; 8. Petr Bartos, 135; 9. Lukasz Lonka, 128; 10. LUDDE SÖDERBERG, 100.

NEXT MX3 RACE: MATTERLEY BASIN, ENGLAND, 19 AUGUST