Interview: Thomas Kjer Olsen – MX2 championship leader
Thomas Kjer Olsen was superb at Matterley Basin controlling both motos and taking the lead in the MX2 world championship.
Olsen appears to have stepped it up in 2019, so we caught up with the British GP winner to get his thoughts on the day and the season.
Gatedrop: It was a pretty dominate weekend for you going 1-1. Can you talk me through your races?
Thomas Kjer Olsen: I had two awesome races today. I got some pretty decent starts and I was up there at the beginning. I only had to make a couple of passes to get myself into first place. It was something new for me to be at the front that early and lead that many laps. That was a great learning experience, I’m really happy about that. Even in the qualifying moto I led laps so I learnt a lot this weekend. It was fun, it was really fun to be out in front, I want to do that more.
Gatedrop: Are improving your starts something you worked on over winter, they were maybe a weak point for you in the past?
Thomas Kjer Olsen: It’s something that we’ve tried to work a lot on. We’ve been trying to figure out how we can get to the front at the start because it’s really important when you see that the KTM is really strong at the starts and stuff like this. It’s important to be up there from the beginning, everybody is going so fast so if you start in tenth, it’s difficult to make your way to the front. It’s defiantly something we’ve worked a lot on.
Gatedrop: This is the first time in your career you’ll have the MX2 World Championship red plate which brings more pressure. Having had it in the EMX250 series before might help you though in that regard?
Thomas Kjer Olsen: I guess you can say that there’s a little bit of pressure but normally I keep my head cool. We are two races into a nineteen race series so there’s a long way to go but it’s a nice milestone career to have my first red plate in MX2. I actually can’t wait to see my bike with that red plate on it, it’s something I’m looking forward to seeing.
Gatedrop: At Matterley basin this weekend a lot of the riders were saying it was quite slippery and more challenging than usual. What was your thoughts on the track?
Thomas Kjer Olsen: I think it was pretty much the same, like last year. To be honest with the grip and stuff, it’s always a little bit slippery when it’s been dry and windy the week before. I’m just happy that it was dry here. I think that they did an amazing job with the track this weekend to be honest. They flattened the right places for the second moto and stuff like that. You see on television also the track was super rough and challenging. They did a great job with the watering and stuff too so it was good.
Gatedrop: There’s some new guns at the front of the MX2 World Championship so far this year. Have you been surprised with the likes of Tom Vialle and Henry Jacobi stepping up?
Thomas Kjer Olsen: Yeah, I guess you can say that there’s some new guys at the front. I don’t really know what to say about it because they’re great riders. As long as I’m up there myself, that’s all I care about. It’s great for a guy like Vialle to come from the EMX250 series and do good.
Gatedrop: We head to Valkenswaard next week, you’ve good memories with getting on the box there last year. Are you looking forward to getting in the sand again?
Thomas Kjer Olsen: I am looking forward to it. It’s not that much different for me to ride hard pack or sand, I can adjust pretty quickly. The sand will definitely be something different and it’s going to be my first real sand race this year so I am looking forward to it.
Gatedrop: Obviously, Jorge Prado wasn’t here this weekend but are you looking forward to him coming back and banging bars with him in the future?
Thomas Kjer Olsen: I am, I want to beat him straight up. I want to try and do that for sure. I am looking forward to him being back and hopefully I can try and do a 1-1 again.