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Antti doing his best

B-MOTO’S ANTTI PYRHÖNEN STAYS 3RD IN MX3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Published on 21.5.2012 13:08

ROUND FOUR: ARCO DI TRENTO, ITALY

ANTTI STAYS 3RD – LUDDE IMPROVES 10 PLACES IN mx3 CHAMPIONSHIP

From the bone hard racetrack in Bulgaria the MX3 circus moved to another place in another country. Venue for round 4 of the 2012 World Championship was the rock hard racetrack of Arco di Trento in the north east of Italy.

This track is built at the foot of the steep Dolomite mountains to give a spectacular backdrop for the Arco race track. Local Italian riders may not be up front in the championship but Austria is just a couple of kilometers on the other side of these very impressive mountains. Austrians Walkner, the championship leader, and Staufer used this track for testing so they know their way around the fast circuit.

“What the Hyvinkää track is to me is this track for the Austrian riders. The (almost) home track will always give an advantage to be a bit sharper and faster. For us riders from the north it is a little more complicated to be fast and competitive on tracks like this,” said Antti.

SATURDAY STRUGGLE

The first day on the Arco track was far from easy for Antti Pyrhönen and his team mate Ludde Söderberg. Both were really struggling with the fast track and the negative feelings cut deeper and deeper.

“There is basically one fast line and if you get out of your line you can get into trouble, “ said Antti. “The start is so important, it’s the usual story on hard tracks.”

Both Finnish riders had their share of misery in the qualification race. Ludde: “Let’s say it was a bad day and I have got to get this quickly out of my head. In the morning I felt quite all right, we got some new parts to have a bit more speed which comes handy on a track like today. My start in the qualification race was decent but I got involved in a start crash and lost many places. I came back into a fourteenth position when I washed the front wheel and went down in a slow corner to lose positions again and had to start all over to finish 22nd. Time to put today’s negative mood behind me and focus on race day,” he stated.

Antti about qualification race on Saturday: “I was top five but Staufer crashed in the first turn. I had to slam the brakes so I lost a few places and had Michek on my heels for most of the race. He is a title contender and we were on a similar speed. When we came to overtake slower riders he was a bit more lucky; later when I tried to pass another guy I was a bit too aggressive in a turn and lost the front wheel so I finished tenth. This track is not one of my favorites but it makes no difference, we have to make the best of it.”

“I have been really weakened after the flu and it was the worst sickness I have been in. In Bulgaria I could feel after ten minutes already that my body energy was dropping rapidly. The condition now is a bit better and for the condition this track is not so demanding.”

“It would help a touch if we get a bit of rain tomorrow what is in the forecast to have more lines on the track. It’s time to concentrate on results and get close to the podium, or better to be on it. The top guy Walkner is now eight points ahead and Michek and Gercar are right on my bum. We are so close in lap times that you can gain one two places or lose them.”

HEAVY RACE DAY WITH MIXED EMOTIONS

Sunday would become a day with mixed emotions for both Fins. Ludde managed to turn a pretty bad first day into a good racing day and hard work brought him ten places higher in the rankings! Slowly but steadily he comes to grips with hard tracks. What a pity were his zero points score in the second moto in Valkenswaard, the only sand MX3 this year of the 2012 series. He could have been top ten now, a first target for this maiden year in MX3.

Ludde: “The first race was pretty disastrous as I made a good start but was too soft at the beginning and let some riders easily pass me which should not happen as I have the experience from a couple of years racing at this level. Seems from the start I do not feel as strong as others; they go faster into the corners and brake later in the opening stages of the race.”

“While the race progressed I caught up the same guys and passed some of them back but to overtake is so difficult. When Antti got by me I tried to stay with him and keep up with his pace. Well thirteenth is quite ok for such a difficult weekend, I don’t like this track so much. Better thirteenth and stay on two wheels then crashing like yesterday so I have to be satisfied with that.”

“At least I managed to keep my spirits up and made a decent start right behind Antti in moto two. Although it got muddy I kind of surprised myself with ninth place. It was a strong ride with guys right on my tail all the time but I kept cool the whole race. Usually my riding sucks in the mud but I was improving myself and that gives me a great feeling. No crashes and probably the best mud race of my life.”

“My father had already showed me the way that with a decent score I could rapidly climb in the rankings, I moved in the championship from 22nd to 11th in one race. So overall I turned a bad start of this weekend into a positive ending.”

While his team mate managed to turn the tables and improved when the race day progressed, team boss Pyrhonen really got into a deeper mental dip during Sunday.

“We need time to get away the bad taste that is now in my mouth after this disastrous weekend. Time to relax, analyze the problems and the situation we are in. Nothing seemed to work today, the starts were bad, I could not reach my normal level and felt physically worn out.”

“There was a lot of stuff going on at the beginning of moto one and I managed to move up. Before the first lap was done I was too eager going inside on a corner and crashed so I had to start all over again. Well the feeling was that nothing worked. Although I tried hard it felt like man and machine were not a good package today. Too many mistakes, almost crashing and then after coming through the field I lost one place in the last lap to rub even more salt into the wound.”

“The second moto was not much better, as the rain had made the track slippery. Anyway with a seventh I improved my result but I must say that I leave this place with mixed emotions. Next race we have to do much better, I am still third in the points but the guys in front are walking away while I have Michek and Gercar breathing in my neck.”

FROM ITALY TO FINLAND TO CROATIA

The boys are now on the way back to Finland for next weekend’s race. Meaning that Antti flies back as he is in a position where he has extra bikes waiting for him at home for Sunday’s Hyvinkää SX race.

Ludde and his mechanic have to drive back all the way, race Hyvinkää and then hurry back south for the next MX3 meeting in Croatia in two weeks time. Quite a trip for the boys in the van … “Uhhh bad planning from my side, let’s call it that way. I have a standard bike at home but to stay in the chase for the Finnish title I need my race bikes, thus we need to drive back all the way. We will arrive Wednesday morning with the ferry in Helsinki.”

RESULTS:

Moto One:  1. Staufer; 2. Walkner, 3. Schmidinger; 4. Gercar; 5. Irt; 6. Michek; 7. D’Angelo; 8. Bartos; 9. Ruf; 10. Verstrepen; 12. PYRHÖNEN; 13. SÖDERBERG

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

MX3 Championship Classification: 1. Matthias Walkner, 142 points;
2. Günther Schmidinger, 130;  3. ANTTI PYRHÖNEN, 110;  4. Martin Michek, 105; 5. Klemen Gercar, 99; 6. Michael Staufer, 96; 7. Matevz Irt, 77; 8. Lukasz Lonka, 72; 9. Petr Bartos, 64; 10. Ceriel Klein Kromhof, 49; 11. LUDDE SÖDERBERG, 48

NEXT MX3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE:  CROATIA, 3 JUNE