Thomas Kjer Olsen of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team showed in the opening round in Argentina that his speed is good against defending World MX2 champion Jorge Prado, but he just couldn’t get close enough in the early stages of the races in Patagonia.
Of course, last weekend Prado was out injured, but Olsen did get some nice starts and showed that the speed from Argentina was still there. Clearly the leader at this present moment in the MX2 championship points, and while some might think he is looking at handing over the red-plate once Prado starts winning again, that isn’t the case at all.
Olsen can see himself winning often, and the confidence he pulled out of the opening two rounds will put him in a good spot when he arrives at the Valkenswaard circuit this coming weekend. The Danish dynamite finished with 3-3 in 2018 at the euro circuit and he will without question be looking for a 1-1 this year.
Obviously when Jorge was ruled out, that must have been a massive boost, because he won the opening round. You don’t want him to be injured, but how was it when you got that news?
I didn’t think too much of it to be honest. He is always fast, and he is the red-plate holder, and when I saw it, I knew there would be some opportunities. I knew before I had the speed, but now a big contender was out of the race. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. We have been having really good preparation during the week, and I knew if I pulled off some good starts, I could really be on point with my racing. It was new for me to lead a lot of laps and it was a good experience. I have been two years in the class, just battling through the pack and it was a new experience and I got a lot of lead laps. It was fun and I want to do it again.
You have a 44-point lead (over Prado) already, does that take a lot of pressure off you?
I guess, but I am not trying to set myself up that I am just against him. There are 30 or 40 great riders out there I have to battle, so I am just battling myself and riding well and staying in that good flow that I have. It isn’t like I am setting myself up against him that much, that is for sure. He is the World champion from last year and he is a big contender and the other guys are also practicing a lot and they are professional, and I know the others I also have to come up against.
You are clearly the next guy behind Jorge, but like you said, there are a bunch of guys right behind you waiting to get you?
These first two rounds, in Argentina I felt I had good speed and felt I could match Prado, but I wasn’t with him in the start. Argentina show me the speed is good, but I need to be up there, like I was this weekend. I felt super strong to be honest and the bike is also super strong. I want to continue this, and I went 1-1 and I want to continue that. It is a long season and it can get draining, but after Arco we have some weeks off, but it will be good to come back fresh after that.
Henry [Jacobi] really pushed you hard and I can imagine that is great for you, because as you said, you know if you slack off a little, there will be a guy there waiting for that?
I am well aware of it and we see them at the training track every week, and I can see they are all fast. I would say that first moto I was riding in my own lines and I saw him coming up and he was on me and I thought, oh, I need to change some lines and it was good to start changing them and the second moto I felt so much smoother in everything I did, and it felt good to ride like that.
Even though Jorge wasn’t here, going 1-1 must be huge for your confidence?
Yes, of course, it gives a lot of confidence. Confidence is an amazing feeling and the actions from the fans and the paddock, it is a new experience and it is nicer than being down in the field peeling tear offs all the time.
You are a good sand rider, seemingly better at Latvia than Valkenswaard, but you are a good sand rider, so you must be looking forward to next week?
I am looking forward to it, and I am good in the sand, but it isn’t like its sand and I feel a lot better. You could say I am better at Latvia than Valkenswaard, but I am an all-round rider and we are getting better in the ruts (like at Matterley). I had my family in England, and they will also be in Holland, and its great to always have their support.
Juan Pablo Acevedo images