One of the main talking points has been the performances from Mikkel Haarup as he’s been in sensational form so it’s clear to see he’s had a good winter’s preparation.
Haarup just ended up third overall in the MX2 class at Hawkstone International behind Adam Sterry and Jago Geerts.
The Dane talent has been so good this season that the Rockstar IceOne Husqvarna team have now decided to give him the shot at racing the MX2 World Championship as oppose to the EMX250 championship.
We caught up with Haarup after his impressive day at Hawkstone International.
Gatedrop: Mikkel, it was a good day for you here at Hawkstone ending up third overall in MX2. Can you talk me through your day?
Mikkel Haarup: In the first moto, I got a decent start before the red flag, I was in second after I think around ten minutes but then the red flag came out, I think it was Brad Anderson who got injured, it’s a shame for him. We had to do a restart and I just didn’t get the best of starts, I got tangled with another rider on the first few laps and I had to come back from sixteenth, – I got back to seventh, it was alright. I had a really good speed and the speed was good for a top five but the mistake cost me that.
In the second moto I got a decent start and I rode it out in second place. I was actually third but then Sterry made a mistake on the last lap so I came back to second because of that. It was a good day and I finished third overall, I really enjoyed it. I’ve had a really good pre-season so far. Let’s see what the plans will be like but I have the feeling we are going to be going to MX2 this season anyway so it’s going to be cool.
Gatedrop: You rode this event last year and you were very quick in qualifying but as it was your first race on the 250cc you didn’t have the intensity for a whole moto. This year was different, do you feel like a full season in the EMX250 championship has really helped with that?
Mikkel Haarup: Yeah, you know, last season wasn’t the best. I had a lot of mistakes even though I was fast which you saw here last year in qualifying. I just didn’t have the consistency which was needed. During the winter all I focused on was just getting those laps in, to not crash and not make mistakes. It seems to have been paying off now, I have almost been top five every weekend this pre season. It’s feeling really good so I do think it’s going to be a good season.
Gatedrop: Just on the three International Italian Championship races you competed in. I mean, pfft did you expect to be that fast? You were probably the next best guy after Prado!
Mikkel Haarup: You know we have been training a lot in Sardinia over the winter which has been tough but I think it’s been paying off. Yeah, I didn’t expect to be that quick but anyway myself and Prado had some good battles. I had a good start and I just rode it out also in the other two rounds. I went with the feeling and tried to make as little mistakes as possible. I have the speed for it so it wasn’t the biggest of surprises but of course I was happy that I managed to do so good.
Gatedrop: You’ve been riding a lot in sand, have you managed to fit in any hard pack riding? I know it’s tough at this time of the year but that’s maybe the next improvement area for you!
Mikkel Haarup: We’ve tried to do as much hard pack as possible but of course sometimes with the weather you have to go to the sand tracks. Actually I feel really good on hard pack as well, even before Christmas we were in Italy for a week and I was faster than the 450cc guys in my team, so far I’m feeling really good even on the hard pack.
Gatedrop: As you mentioned, the plan looks to be racing MX2 this year, was that always the plan or have the team seen your speed and decided they were wrong and have put you in MX2 as oppose to EMX250?
Mikkel Haarup: Yeah, exactly (laughs). The past few races I have been doing so well and they’ve been thinking to put me in MX2. The consistency has been important. They made the decision a few weeks ago but only told me last week so it’s a little bit new for me as well but I am happy with the decision also of course mine. It’s always been the goal to race MX2 this year, I just haven’t been allowed but now I’ve been doing so good during the winter so I’m really happy the work has paid off.
Gatedrop: Do you know if it’ll be all rounds of the MX2 World Championship or just the European rounds?
Mikkel Haarup: I would love to go to Argentina but I honestly don’t know yet, it’s not cheap to go to Argentina and it’s been pretty last minute so I honestly don’t know but I hope. At least I will be racing MX2 at Matterley Basin for the second round.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Scott Dunne