Denmark’s Thomas Kjer Olsen has given the motocross scene in Italy a shake-up with his latest performance and hopes he can translate that into good points when the MXGP season begins in The Netherlands on May 23.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider secured his maiden 450cc race win with victory at round two of the Internazionali d’Italia series in Alghero, Sardinia, at the weekend, finishing ahead of many of his MXGP rivals.
Following an impressive runner-up finish in the day’s opening MX1 moto, Kjer Olsen then charged to a stunning victory in the mixed-capacity Supercampione race, claiming his first international win on FC 450 machinery.
Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the sandy hillside venue provided him with further races to sharpen his skills while competing on another rough and technical circuit ahead of the MXGP World Championship start in May.
Enjoying a great start in the day’s MX1 moto, a confident Kjer Olsen quickly made a number of passes to move into fourth place during the opening lap. As the race unfolded, the Dane charged past Alessandro Lupino (KTM) on lap five to secure third before moving into second just a few laps later.
While giving chase to the race leader, Kjer Olsen momentarily stalled his FC 450 machine and then opted to settle for a safe, yet well-earned, runner-up finish.
With the track at its roughest, Kjer Olsen was undoubtedly at his best in the Supercampione moto. Ending lap one in sixth place, the 23-year-old then picked off his rivals as he worked on reeling in the race leader, Romain Febvre (Kawasaki).
With Kjer Olsen displaying incredible speed around the Alghero circuit, he was soon onto the back wheel of Febvre and made the crucial pass for the lead on lap 13. Maintaining his strong pace for the rest of the moto he claimed an impressive first-ever 450cc race win.
Following a hugely positive time in Sardinia, Kjer Olsen will now return to his Belgian base and make his final preparations ahead of the 2021 MXGP World Championship.
Thomas Kjer Olsen: “It feels amazing but also a little unexpected to have won the Supercampione race today. After the first race I knew my speed was good, I just made a few mistakes and for the second moto I knew I had to clean those up. My start in the second race wasn’t the best but I felt great on the bike.
“We have such a good set up with the bike that it allows me to ride freely and with a lot of confidence. I was able to push to the end and enjoyed leading laps and taking the win. We learned a lot today. These races are important to test settings in a racing environment and to learn how my competitors race too, so this trip to Sardinia has been really productive. We now head back to Belgium and look ahead to the MXGP season.”
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
Results – 2021 Internazionali d’Italia, Round 2
- Glenn Coldenhoff (Yamaha) 18 laps, 28:24:167; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 28:32:063; 3. Ben Watson (Yamaha) 28:41:184.
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 18 laps, 28:39:336; 2. Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) 28:40:717; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (Yamaha) 28:55:904.