In terms of results the Mexican Grand Prix was Ken De Dycker’s strongest weekend of the season until now. In extreme conditions, given the heat and altitude, the lanky Belgian showed excellent form. Ken narrowly missed out on his first overall rostrum finish on KTM factory machinery, however he did manage to come home third in the opening moto.
De Dycker already posted good results in South-America before. On his previous two visits to the continent of Samba and Caipirinha Ken finished respectively fourth (2009) and seventh (2011) overall. Actually the Grand Prix of Brazil comes full circle this weekend as the first ever Brazilian MX1 GP in 2009 took place in the same state! Just before the weekend we caught up with Keeno.
The past week must have been quite different from preparing for any other usual GP European event?
Ken De Dycker: “That’s right! From Mexico we flew to Brazil immediately after the race. We arrived here on Tuesday morning, with the connecting flights and waiting in between all added up we were a 20-odd hours on the road! That’s quite a long journey after the weekend we had in Guadalajara. Also because of my size I’m never really comfortable on a plane! This week we didn’t ride the bike. I just did some running, explored the environment a little bit and made sure to get some rest. Fortunately, the temperature is much more agreeable here than in Mexico. The past few days it was about 18 to 20 ° C. Occasionally, we even had a little cold wind.”
The recent Brazilian GP organizers have done quite a job over the years although each of the races has been staged on a different track in different locations. You have missed 2010 through injury, but can you compare 2009 (Canelinha) and 2011 (Indaiatuba)?
De Dycker: “For me the first year was definitely the best so far. In Canelinha they had built a pretty wicked track. It felt quite spacious and as always in Brazil the crowd was amazing. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy for motocross here, that’s awesome! Last year’s track was very compact in comparison. The circuit in Beto Carrero World for this weekend looks interesting. We will see tomorrow how it feels to ride on it. Coincidentally, we are even in the same hotel we stayed in three years ago. Away from the track there was not much to do in Mexico. We have a much more lively setting here with a big shopping mall and of course the Beto Carrero theme park itself. Also in terms of organization, things looks much more professional here than in Mexico.”
What do you expect from the race?
De Dycker: “In Mexico I had some problems with my starts. If I can get those dialled in again I can fight for a rostrum finish. The week before Guadalajara I was a bit ill and in terms of riding it was not really my best GP. Last week we ran into quite a lot of trouble with the lapped riders as well. Actually there were only two guys running at a speed comparable to the GP guys. In Guadalajara I got stuck together with a local rider on one of the uphills. Over here in Brazil the level is luckily higher. It would be fun to make the podium, but my first objective remains the same. I want to race two consistent motos.”