As the 2016 Enduro World Championship season draws to a close Miglio Yamaha Official Enduro1 Team rider Mikael Persson has his sights set on wrapping up the series with a podium result at the GP of France.
Clinching the 2015 Enduro Youth title, the 21-year-old took the bold decision to jump straight into the senior ranks of the championship in 2016. Aboard his Miglio Yamaha Official Enduro1 Team WR250F machine the Swede has gone from strength to strength.
Starting the year battling for a place inside the top 10, Persson has earned results inside the top six in each of the last four GPs. Delivering his most successful performance last time out in Italy, Mikael came agonisingly close to a first podium result, placing fourth on day one in Fabriano.
Prior to the 2016 Enduro World Championship final on September 9-11, Yamaha Racing caught up with Mikael to find out more about the Swede’s season and his hopes for the final round of the championship.
Mikael, what are your expectations going into the final GP of the season in France this weekend?
“I really want to get a podium result. I’ve been battling for the top three in Enduro 1 and I’d love to end the year on the podium. At the last GP before the summer break, in Italy, I finished fourth on day one, so now I want to improve on that. It’s been a long season and I’ve worked really hard, so now I’m really looking forward to wrapping up the championship on a high note.”
The GP of France will also mark the return of your teammate Jamie McCanney. Are you looking forward to racing alongside him again?
“Jamie is a great athlete and a role model for me. It’s a bummer he was forced to miss most of the season due to injury. He’s been racing the world championship for five or six years now and I feel there’s a lot I can learn from him. One thing he taught me this year is to remain calm and not try to over-ride the bike. Maybe sometimes I was a bit more aggressive than I should’ve been, pushing the bike too much. Watching Jamie ride I learned that I needed to ease down and not force things too much.”
Did being the only official Miglio Yamaha Official Enduro1 Team rider for most of the season add any extra pressure?
“I wouldn’t say there was extra pressure. We’ve set our goals since the beginning of the season and we stuck to that. At first not being able to race alongside Jamie made me reconsider my goals and motivation. Being like a lonely soldier within the team meant I had nobody to chase. Obviously there was a bunch of other riders to battle with, but what I really missed was the feeling of trying to chase my teammate. It’s always good to have someone a bit faster than you to learn from. Of course it would have been better for all of us if Jamie could have done the whole season.”
As the 2015 Enduro Youth Champion, what were the biggest challenges you faced in your debut season in the senior ranks?
“It’s been a huge step for me. Last year in Enduro Youth, when I was having a good special test I’d look at my times and I’d be first or second. This season things were different. There were times I felt I rode a great test and I was still outside the top 10 in Enduro 1. As a racer I wanted to be up there fighting for the podium and it was tough to accept mentally. I had to take a step back to understand I couldn’t have the same expectations. I learned there was no point in getting overly stressed. I’m happy I didn’t give up the fight and continued working hard.”
情報提供元 [ Yamaha Racing ]