Rockstar Energy Husqvarna factory rider Thomas Kjer Olsen might be the red plate owner in the MX2Championship, but he seems to be a little forgotten in all the talk of defending champion Jorge Prado, who has won three of the first four GPs and is a heavy favorite to win the 2019 MX2 Championship.
The last round of the MX2 Championship was held at the Italian circuit of Trentino and for Olsen it wasn’t a good one as he finished with a consistent 5-4 results, but well down from his usual strong performances.
“It’s not been the perfect weekend here,” Olsen said. “I’m still leading the MX2 Championship and I think I showed some good speed. Everyone knows this track is really difficult to pass on and I experienced that in the first race. The second race was better, but after running third for so many laps it’s tough not getting a top three result. But finishing 5-4 gives me good championship points. I’ll keep working hard during the weeks off to be 100% ready for the next GP.”
In the sand of the euro circuit in Valkenswaard Olsen finished with 2-3 scores for second overall to Prado, who had gone 1-1, but it was a solid rider and kept his points leads in the standings.
“We picked up some good points in The Netherlands. That’s what matters the most for me. Knowing the track would be rough, my goal coming into the weekend was to remain safe and do my best to maintain the lead in the championship. In the first race I had a decent pace and crossed the line in second. Then in the final race I got passed by Geerts while running second again, just before the chequered flag, so I ended up third for second overall. This season will be very long, and my goal is to remain consistent until the end of it.”
Matterley Basin was the stand out for Olsen as he made the most of Prado not racing and scored 1-1 results, his best GP performance in his career and the first time he owned the red plate.
“It’s just awesome to go 1-1 in the UK. My weekend was really good – I won the qualifying race and then went on the claim the overall in MX2 with two more wins. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s been a long time since I got the overall win and I was happy to do it at this cool track. Matterley Basin has always been a track that I enjoy riding and this weekend I did my best to collect as many points as possible for the championship. I felt comfortable all weekend and my best race was the last one, where the track was at its roughest. I have so much confidence in my bike, and so much trust in all the members of my team. It was good to pay them back with this win. I also secured the red plate for the first time. Now the goal is to hold onto it and push hard during the upcoming races.”
The opening round in Argentina was a brilliant start to the season also as he scored 2-2 results and headed back to Europe with a lot of confidence.
“I’m quite happy to start this season with a second-place overall result here in Argentina. As a racer I’m always looking for race wins, but it is really good to start the season on the podium. In the first race I spun out of the gate and gave myself some work to do. I managed to get up to second on lap 10, so I was pleased with that. The second moto went well. I moved from third to second and spent the whole race there. It’s going to be a long year with plenty of racing to be done.”
Now Olsen will head to Mantova in less than a weeks’ time. His red plate still intact, and the knowledge that anything can happen in the following rounds of the MX2 Championship.