Sinisalo presents the young and talented Ludde SöderbergPublished on 18.6.2012 8:45
Being a motocross rider, travelling around Europe for the MX3 World Championship takes a lot more than just sling your leg over your bike and riding two motos. After one year in MX2 with Kimi Raikkonen’s IceOne Racing Team, Ludde Söderberg is now riding under the wing of Antti Pyrhönen’s AP24RACING Team. IceOne opened the door to the 2011 World Championship motocross scene for the young Finn.
“I have been postponing doing my military services for 4 years because riding is taking up all of my time and energy, but I may have go there this winter. The army makes life so much easier, you just have to follow orders. I just hope they let me go after 6 months, because 9 months would be too long for me to be away from my sport.”
THE SEASON SO FAR
“Overall the season has been pretty much okay so far, except for the fact that I am really disappointed with the opener in Valkenswaard, where I had the speed to do well. It was the only MX3 race in the sand, so the result after a great qualification was a bummer. I picked up 7 WC points and it should have been a lot more; with a third place in qualification I showed my potential. But I crashed in the first moto.”
“The third MX3 round in Bulgaria went pretty well and with some changes to my bike I began to get into the groove with the hard tracks in Italy and Croatia and that helped me rise into tenth place. In Slovenia I enjoyed my riding though I had to make up a lot of ground. I need good results for my position, but also to keep up my high level of motivation.”
“With poor results in Holland and France I am happy to be in tenth position. The top ten guys are really competitive, plus we had some races with wildcard riders from the MX1 who took away many points. It is not easy to get into the top ten.”
CHANGE OF CLASS
“The switch to MX3 has been good so far. I can collect a lot of experience in races where I can be close to the top five on a good day, instead of racing for a couple of points in MX2 and not really developing as a rider.”
Some of Ludde’s MX3 events have gone really well, others have been a bit of a struggle for the man from Vantaa, especially at the opening stages of the race.
“Yeah that is a weak point. The other guys ride a bit more aggressively in the opening laps, they go faster into the corners and brake later. It is something I need working on in training… Do sprints and stuff like that. It now takes me too long too get into 100% of my riding and then the guys in front are gone or riders have taken my position.”
INVESTING IN A MOTOCROSS CAREER
“Of course it takes a big budget to race MX3, but I feel it’s worth the effort. The alternative would be to buy a seat on a MX2 or MX1 team, hand over your entire budget and then never know are they happy with your riding and results.”
“It is really interesting to do it your own way, how to approach sponsors, work with them and communicate with them to keep them updated and involved. It’s what you can do for them before they can do something for you. I have learned a lot about thois stuuf from Antti Pyrhönen since I joined his AP24RACING Team.”
“It would be a lonely trip cruising around Europe far from home if I did not have a bunch of other Finns around me like Antti and his mechanic Jussi. We travel and ride together so that sure makes a difference. But still, it’s not an easy life.”
A BRIGHT INTERNATIONAL FUTURE
Everybody in Finland speaks English and yet it is amazing how perfect Ludde chooses his words. There is a reason for that.
“When I was ten years old my mom had a job in Plano, Texas for one year so I went to school there for about half a year. I visited elementary school and that’s how I picked up my English.”
When asked about his future plans regarding racing and other plans, Ludde flashes a smile before answering.
“Funny you should ask because I think about that nearly every day. I did high school so I can go to a next level; even going to university is a possibility… Studying international marketing or something. Last week I was thinking sport massage would be a cool job, journalist is something appealing, you see it changes from day to day.”
“I cannot continue racing motocross for too long, at least not at this level. The plan is to finish in the top ten this year and go for a medal in 2013. That is how I see my investment in my racing career at the moment.”
RIDING WITH F1 STAR RÄIKKÖNEN
Ludde shared some glimpses into his time with IceOne Racing team and his relationship with the legendary Formula 1 driver, Kimi Räikkönen.
“Kimi is funny, he is a friend of mine. I got to know Kimi through a friend who was filming Kimi during his rally project. We went out riding a couple of times as he loves motocross and he is really fast as well, not just cruising. When I was in the 2010 EMX European championship and scored some first and second places he started talking like why don’t we race in the World Championships… That was the start of the IceOne Racing Team. Kimi really is a special guy. Anything he does he is pretty good at. He has a talent for motorsports. Great to see he is doing so well now that he is back in F1.”