Scandinavia welcomes the FIM Mx Tour
Sweden is, in the history of our sport, one of the main countries with many successful riders such as Rolf Tibblin, Sten Lundin, Bill Nilsson, Torsten Hallman, Bengt Aberg, Hakan Andersson, Hakan Carlqvist or Marcus Hansson who all got at least one world title. Since the retirement of Peter Johansson the Swedish fans have no more heroes to cheer at the moment, but the atmosphere is till unique in Uddevalla with thousands of Scandinavian fans coming for the single Grand Prix organized in a Nordic country.
Sweden and also Finland were always great locations for the Grand Prix, and many mechanics or team managers remind the Nordic tour who brings, in the pass, riders to Sweden and then Finland within two weeks. For the Danish, Swedish, Norwegians or Finnish fans of motocross Uddevalla is, since four years now, a famous location to visit and they will bring with their national flags nice colours in the forest landscape.
Unfortunately for the Norwegians, Kenneth Gundersen will missed the rest of the season due to a knee injury; the factory KTM rider will attend the event as a spectator, and will be replaced by Belgian Sven Breugelmans. Gundersen is out, and Antti Pyrhonen is back; the Finnish rider, injured six weeks ago is back to the GP and has a new ride on a factory TM. “We have finished our relation with my previous team and I’m happy to have a deal with TM for the rest of the season. I just practice three times on the bike this week and had a great feeling; it reminds me the four stroke Honda or Yamaha that I rode in the passed seasons. The goal for this weekend will be to finish both races in the points, then we’ll have a three weeks break. I want to use this period to test the bike and recover totally from my wrist injury. I plan to move from Holland to Italy in order to be full time near the factory, as we must do a lot of testing on the bike; my final goal is to be as strong as possible, I’m convinced that the TM has a very good potential ad I hope we can reach later a long term contract together” said Anti who is so far the strongest Finnish rider. Alongside Antti, Danish Brian Jorgesen will be one of the most supported rider this weekend; winner in Teutschenthal, second of the first moto in Belgium, Brian has an inconsistent season so far. “This event is the closest GP from my hometown, and it’s nice to know that there will be many people cheering me this weekend. I put on a nice battle last week but lost some energy in the first race when I tried to catch Mickael. It’s a frustrating period for me, as I won in Germany and then got injured in Holland; I think that this track suits more to my riding style than Belgium and I expect better results here. I will not have less or more motivation there, my motivation always come from deep in my heart. After this event we’ll have a three weeks break and I will work hard to get my fitness back as it was at the beginning of the season” said Pichon’s teammate. For the first time this season four riders will represent Sweden in the MX1 class, and Joakim Karlsson, Johnny Lindhe or Joakim Eliasson who all compete several World Championships campaigns will try to get some good result. But once more the favourites will be Stefan Everts, Mickael Pichon, Steve Ramon, Kevin Strijbos or Joshua Coppins.
Eleven Swedish riders will enter the MX2 class, alongside two Finns and all of them will have a qualification for the GP as first goal. Leader of the championship, Ben Townley expect to renew with a GP win; he missed the final podium of the last three rounds and after his DNF last week in Neeroeteren he lost a couple of points and now leads his team-mate Tyla Rattray by only 46 points. Townley, Rattray, Stephen Sword (who had a disappointing day in Neeroeteren), Andrew McFarlane (who won three of the last four heats), Mickael Maschio will be the favourites of this class with youngest kids as Antonio Cairoli or Sébastien Pourcel.
The action will start Saturday at 10am with the first free practice session, and qualifying will take place from 3 to 6pm. Sunday the MX2 races are scheduled at 12.05 and 15.05, and the MX1 at 13.05 and 16.05.
2003 winners: Stefan Everts (125 and Motocross GP) and Joel Smets (650)
2002 winners: Ben Townley (125), Mickael Pichon (250) and Stefan Everts (500)
2001 winners: Kenneth Gundersen (125), Gordon Crockard (250) and Stefan Everts (500)
For more info and results check the official web site of the FIM Motocross World Championships: www.motocrossMX1.com
Info MediaPress – Photographer: A. Hodgkinson