Interview: Thomas Kjer Olsen on his Lommel podium and racing MXGP in future

Danish talent, Thomas Kjer Olsen had a few rough Grand Prix’s but he got back on the box at Lommel with a third overall.

The Factory Husqvarna rider also gained points on Ben Watson in the championship chase so is looking good to finish third in the MX2 World Championship once again.

Olsen is a big guy and perhaps too big for the MX2 machine so he could have a good future in the MXGP World Championship when he decides to make the move up. Due to the U23 age rule in MX2, he has two years remaining in the class.

We caught up with Olsen to discuss his podium in Lommel and racing the MXGP World Championship in the future.

This article continues below

Gatedrop: Thomas, you’ve had a few tough GP’s but you got back on the box here in Lommel, you must be happy with how your weekend went?

Thomas Kjer Olsen: Yeah, I am really happy about getting back on the box. It was definitely a goal of mine this weekend and I made it happen. Like you said, I had some rough weekends lately so I am so happy to put it back together. I felt like I was missing some good starts and consistency during the first couple of laps and that’s what I had here so that’s really nice to put it together. It’s one of the toughest GP’s on the calendar and it was really hot this weekend so I’m happy to show my physical side is really good and that I’m strong.

Gatedrop: Qualifying actually didn’t go that well for you, did you expect better from yourself there and what would you put it down too? At the end of the day it’s only qualifying, and it doesn’t really matter but you turned it around for the main races!

Thomas Kjer Olsen: Actually, I had an okay feeling during practice and qualifying but I just didn’t get that one lap together. I actually wasn’t too worried because I knew already that I was riding alright and I was just kind of saving my energy a little bit. I knew that today is where it was going to count so I saved my energy for today and that worked out really well. After the crash yesterday I knew I was in eighth place so I could still get a good gate pick and get some good starts.

Gatedrop:  In the battle for third in the world championship, Watson didn’t have the best of weekends so you’ve gained points on him. The target now must be to nail down third spot in the world championship?

Thomas Kjer Olsen: For sure. It was also before this weekend. I think it’s possible to get third but those guys are riding great too so I need to be on my A game every weekend to keep them behind me. For sure I believe in myself and I believe in what I can do so definitely hoping for third place.

Gatedrop:  Obviously, Lommel is one of the hardest tracks on the calendar, how would you say it compared this year to other years? I heard a few riders say it was softer than usual, also the heat must have made it pretty hard!

Thomas Kjer Olsen: Yeah, it felt quite soft even though it’s been so dry here. I think they watered a lot during the week. I think it was a little bit tougher than last year even though it was the same layout but I don’t know it could just be a feeling like every year feels tougher and tougher. It’s definitely tough and it’s definitely bumpy but with that said, I think they did a good job flattening some spots, so we could still jump the jumps because if they didn’t flatten it we wouldn’t have been able to clear them. They did a good job maintaining the track and making it bumpy in the right places and stuff like that, it was good.

This article continues below

Gatedrop: We have five GP’s left and then I guess you’ll head to RedBud with Denmark for the Motocross Des Nations, are you looking forward to that?

Thomas Kjer Olsen: It would be cool but actually Denmark is not going, it’s a little bit far away and it’s a long season for us. Not this year but we are looking to come back strong in 2019.

Gatedrop: You have two years left in the MX2 World Championship, do you think you’ll spend them both in the MX2 class or maybe move up to the MXGP class a year early?

Thomas Kjer Olsen: I think I’m just going to wait and see what happens.  Obviously the 450 would fit me really good with my height and my weight. I’m heavier than guys like Prado and even my team mate Thomas so the 450 would fit me good but I haven’t really thought about it yet. I still have two years left so I guess I will wait and see.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Nigel McKinstry