Mikkel Haarup on his second career podium: Difficult to describe the emotion

Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup soared to his second career podium in the third round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Villa La Angostura in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

After his spectacular charge to fourth place in the previous day’s Qualifying race Haarup was determined to do even better on race day and was again quickly on the move to advance from seventh to fifth during the early laps of race one until he slipped off accelerating out of a right-hander to drop back to twelfth. Undeterred by the temporary setback the Dane was quickly on the move again to move back into the top eight by lap seven and continue his charge to clinch fourth place on the very last lap. Starting sixth in race two the Kawasaki rider immediately saw the chance of mounting the podium as he charged up the leaderboard; after twelve minutes he was already fourth and relentlessly closed the three-second gap to the rider ahead, securing his first podium since the opening round of the 2020 season with a scintillating inside pass ten minutes from the end of the moto. He has also advanced to fourth place in the championship standings.

Mikkel Haarup: “Already yesterday I could feel I had a good flow around the track and like in the weekends before I was improving every session; after fourth in the Qualifying race I could see my pace was there for the podium but I didn’t want to take it for granted so I kept working and really pushed for it. I made some nice passes both motos but I made it difficult for myself in race one when I slid out when fifth so I had to come back from twelfth to fourth. I recovered well between the races and could push all of the second race too. I’m really happy, not just for myself but for the entire team and everybody around me; this was a team effort and we’re only just getting started. It was so good to be back on the podium. It’s difficult to describe the emotion; you work so hard for it and I just tried to enjoy every moment up there but tomorrow is a new week and we carry on working; I can see I have even more and want to be up there with the guys right at the front.“

Kevin Horgmo of the F&H Kawasaki Racing Team was in forceful mood all day as he
pushed forward from fifteenth to fourth during the first ten minutes of race one and executed a superb inside pass for third the following lap to immediately move clear until the closing stages when the intensity of his chasers’ battle saw them come back onto his rear wheel and take advantage of his relative inexperience in the last few corners. The Norwegian regrouped during the interval to immediately move into fourth place after a superb start in race two. Settling into a solid rhythm he moved ever closer to third and was poised to make the pass until he slipped off and was pushed back temporarily to sixth. Undeterred by the incident he quickly regrouped to regain fifth, enough to give him the same position overall on the day too, but another incident eventually saw him classified thirteenth. Nevertheless, he remains joint seventh in the championship standings, just seven points from the top-five.

Kevin Horgmo: “Once again I had good speed but I was just making too many mistakes on my part, again hitting the ground a couple of times. But I felt good in myself, the bike was perfect for this track and I felt really comfortable. I’m still trying to establish myself in the top six; I should soon be getting used to it but it is relatively new to me and I still have a lot of nerves. Let’s go from here.“

Words and pic: Kawasaki