Antti Pyrhösen kolumni

”Dear fans and friends, my long time clothing sponsor Sinisalo have asked me to write on regular basis a column about racing and what it takes to run my own AP Racing motocross team. So here is my first column and I would like to share this time with you what ‘life on the road’ means for a Grand Prix motocross rider.”

”Last year I guided Alejandro Noemi through the European countries and his MX3 maiden year. We traveled by camper and trailer and with 3 people onboard that was fun but pretty crowded. For this year we have built a new Sprinter and I travel with my mechanic Jussi Heikkonen and we share the driving.”

”When I came back mid-February from my training months in Chile with Alejandro I stayed only 4 days in Finland and then flew to Brussels where Jussi picked me up. We found a place to park our truck at the HRD shop of the Dirkx family not far from Lommel in Overpelt – Belgium. I know the family since many years, the son Peter was a GP rider himself and daddy Jos helped me also a lot in 2009. By this way we had a relaxing place next to their workshop and we could use their shower so all went smooth.”

”Training in Belgium or Holland is tough but gives a good base for the new season. I rode two Dutch Open Championship races to build my speed and confidence.”

”Then came early April and it was time to say bye-bye to the Dirkx family and hit the highways direction north Italy. There we stayed at the tracks of Malpensa and Gallarate to work on the engine and suspension and get back the feel for the hard tracks. The first MX3 World Championship round was going to take place in Greece.”
”From the north in Italy we moved south to the famous Faenza (between Bologna and coast) circuit for more training sessions. Then back on the highway to Ancona for an overnight ferry trip to Patra in Greece on our way to Megalopolis. So far all was an easy trip as travelling in the Sprinter is quite fast and comfortable. But in Greece we hit the small road to our destination and that was the beginning of long hours on slow roads. The weather changed to heavy rain during the weekend but the racing went well although only one moto.”

”I was happy to see my father and Merja there at the first race to support me and after the race they helped us pack up and we left the muddy paddock on Sunday night. From Megalopolis we took the highway to Athens and continued to Thessaloniki but then it was small roads all the way.”

”The first night in Bulgaria was freezing cold, luckily the weather improved and we could do more training and mechanical work before the Troyan MX3. Like many competitors we stayed a couple of days at the MX1 track of Sevlievo. Bulgaria is a pretty poor country but facilities at those two tracks are amazingly good.”

”Sunday races brought a positive surprise and after the Troyan meeting we hit the road again as quickly as possible. No highways for a long long time, this time we only saw lousy small roads for hundreds of kilometers until we reached the Rumanian border. By that time it was 5 o’clock in the morning when we laid our heads down. Again up on time and a lot more driving ahead of us. In 2009 I had some trouble with the trailer in the east block and had to have it fixed at a local workshop where they charged me crazy money for a bit of welding.”

”This time the trip went without trouble, though slow. We will be back in these countries again in the near future and especially the trip to Ukraine will be tough.”

”On the Tuesday we went through Slovakia and Austria to Germany, Jussi dropped me off at Berlin airport so I could fly home while he took the ferry back to Finland.”

”I had no time to loose as 80 junior riders came to my training camp on Friday April 29 for 3 of my sponsors: Bike World, Black 7 and Bike magazine. The camp was a huge success and I have to say thanks to my friends Tomi Konttinen (Finnish Federation MX trainer) and Peter Dirkx who helped me out as instructor.”

”May 7 I had a SX race in my home town Hyvinkää and Harri Kullas was the better one, the mini track was a bit of a handful for my big 450 bike but all credits to Harri who has a great MX2 World Championship season.”

”On May 15 we had the first Finnish Championship. I won the first race easily with a 22 seconds lead. In the second race I was knocked down in the start and later again brought down by a lapped rider. In total I had 3 crashes as I also made a mistake, these things happen and I finished fifth.”

”Spending more weeks in Finland will help me build up for the next World Championship round now that the three MX3 World Championship races in South America have been canceled. In a way that is truly a pity as I know the Chile track very well, I won my first World Championship race there in 2009. On the other hand these overseas races would have cost a lot of money.”

”Next stop is Pori, the second Finnish Championship round on June 5, and then we hit the big time at Vantaa where the MX3 World Championship will continue. Potisek and Bill have showed great speed and they are the winners of the first 3 motos. But my target is to get on the podium, well I think I can even win again as in 2009 in Vantaa.”

”Well now you have an idea that racing motocross at the highest level means a lot of travelling which is not always fun. But I consider myself a lucky man being able to live this life and do what I really love doing.”

”After my injury end 2009 it has been hard work to come back and I plan to make a next step at the coming MX3.”

”Hope to see you in Vantaa June 11 and 12.”

Terveisin, Antti