Muddy start of MX3 World Championship in GreecePublished on 17.4.2011 17:58
Having been team manager in 2010 for his Chilean friend Alejandro Noemi and not having participated for one whole year, the fresh start for Antti Pyrhönen came this weekend in Megalopolis, Greece where the first MX3 World Championship Grand Prix race took place under extremely challenging and messy conditions.
But conditions are equal for all riders so there was no escape, “In fact I was excited to start a new season at the highest level, I watched the races last year and felt so unhappy as a spectator.” said Antti as he checked Saturday’s lap times.
“It felt great to be here and show what I can do. After the two races in Holland, we stayed in Belgium for a few weeks to train on hard circuits like the ones that they use for GP’s. Ten days ago my mechanic Jussi and I pointed our team truck towards the direction of Italy where we did a lot of practice and testing. Jussi is specialized in suspension and he has done a great job. Training however is not the same as a race and then the weather can change overnight like here in Greece.”
“During Saturday I improved a lot, in the first practice I was far from happy, my lap times were far away from the top guys and I knew in several places I was too slow. But there was a second free practice, after that comes time training and at the end of the day I was two seconds behind the fast guys Julien Bill and Milko Potisek. I feel that we can still find a bit more top end power and make the bike faster to get us a bit closer to the fastest guys.”
SUNDAY THE RAIN NEVER STOPPED, SECOND RACE CANCELED
Heavy wind and rain revealed their evil plans for race day to spoil the fun for the riders and the public. The result was a loss for the organizers because many spectators decided to spend Sunday at home. The ladies WMX World Championship is combined with MX3 and the fast ladies showed the poor track conditions. Many of them fell down with their bikes covered in heavy mud.
“I knew what to expect… but man it was tough. It’s a matter of a good start, do a steady race staying on two wheels and avoid mistakes and hope nobody falls in front of you or knocks you down.”
“It was really tricky, when the track is so slippery and so muddy it is easy to make a mistake. My speed was good but about halfway through the guy in front of me was far ahead and the guy following me was far behind so I had a lonely race. Every lap it felt like the bike became 10 kilos heavier. If you go slower the mud sticks like glue, so where possible I was revving the engine and spinning the wheel to loosen the mud.”
At the front Potisek and Bill were in total control proving these guys are really Championship quality. Two laps from the end Milko Potisek got into problems because of anther rider and got stuck so he dropped down handing the number one plate to Julien Bill. Antti arrived in 6th place, a steady race in control as much as possible.
“Under the circumstances I was satisfied with my result in this first World Championship race.”
“Just before the second heat the rain changed into a full thunderstorm so the race was canceled, which was a good decision on the part of the organizers.”
The next GP is in a week (April 24th in Troyan, Bulgaria) and then a long break before Vantaa on 12 June.
First race and World Championship positions: 1. Julien Bill, Sui; 2. Dmitry Parshin, Rus; 3. Marko Maddi, It; 4. Milko Potisek, Fr; 5. Michael Staufer, Ger; 6. ANTTI PYRHÖNEN, Fin; 7. Luca Fontanesi; 8. Nikolav Kumanov, Bul; 9. Martin Michek, CZE; 10. Martin Zereva, CZE; 11. Juss Laanso, Est; 12. Lauri Lehtla, Est; 13. Txomin Arana, Esp; 14. Manous Skibalos, Gre; 15. Dimitry Camus, Fr