It’s been an incredibly tough few years physically and mentally for Miro Sihvonen as a knee injury meant he’s had to undergo a number of operations and it means in the last few years he’c contested very few races.
The good news is that the young Finn is looking to put that all behind him. For the season ahead, it’s going to be a big change as after a number of years with the DIGA KTM team, Sihvonen will be a privateer and also race a 350cc.
Sihvonen will contest the ADAC German MX Masters as well as selected MXGP World Championship races throughout the season.
We caught up with Sihvonen to discuss the change for 2019.
Gatedrop: Miro, you’ve decided to make the change to the 350cc in 2019, what’s the reason for the change?
Miro Sihvonen: Yeah, I decided to start the season with a 350cc because I haven’t been able to train and ride properly for a long time. So, it should be easier physically wise for me and it’s easier to adapt from the 250cc. If and when I show some good results and some deal comes up – I will then be able to ride the 250cc or the 450cc. It’s also cheaper to go with a bigger bike, especially now that I’m a privateer.
Gatedrop: What’s your goals for 2019?
Miro Sihvonen: My goal is to be a top contender in the ADAC Masters series and to get some good results in those selected MXGP races I contest. The ultimate goal is to find a place in the GP paddock (MXGP or MX2) after, or even during the season.
Gatedrop: Did you have any offers to contest the MX2 World Championship in 2019?
Miro Sihvonen: Before the decision to go privateer was made, I did have some offers from teams as I wanted to go to MX2, but it wasn’t possible in this situation.
Gatedrop: You’ve had two very tough years with your knee, how is everything with it now?
Miro Sihvonen: My knee is finally going to a better direction and is actually pretty good already. I have missed a lot of physical training cause of it during the last 2 years, but I was still very positively surprised with my physical condition as I was finally able to go for a physical test few days ago.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Miro Sihvonen: I’d like to thank my new mechanic Samuli Aro (5x enduro world champion) for coming with me this season and my long time trainer Jussi Vehviläinen (former GP rider) for still believing in me. I want to thank my family for their support. I want to say thank you to my former team KTM DIGA Junior Racing for their ”education” through these years. Thanks to them I’m ready for all the obstacles in the way. Also, a huge thank you to all my sponsors who stick behind me through this journey.
Interview: Andy McKinstry