Compact, narrow and extremely bumpy; the shallow sand of Hyvinkää definitely offered a physical and mental test at the Grand Prix of Finland.
The track went through a cycle of maintenance to accommodate the European 65 and 85 classes but was approaching a brutal state by the second MXGP moto that had athletes like Kevin Strijbos, Shaun Simpson, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Max Nagl tiring.
For the dominant winners of the 13th round of 17 in the FIM Motocross World Championship however Hyvinkää posed varying degrees of difficulty.
“I think this track was one of the toughest we have had [this season],” said MXGP World Champion Tony Cairoli after his eighth win of the season and sixth double success. “Really bumpy and technically one of the most difficult. For me it was really nice to get those holeshots and made it easier.”
Although the manner of Cairoli’s triumph was eclipsed – predictably – by king ‘sandfly’ Jeffrey Herlings in MX2 it seems others were keen to share the Sicilian’s opinion. “It was very hard work out there,” said Strijbos. “I never really enjoyed the track all weekend. It was harder than last year,” offered Simpson. “It was almost dangerous and I couldn’t find a solution for it,” commented David Philippaerts.
Herlings however was a different case.
“I’m from Holland so this is not really so tough,” the soon-to-be three-time world champion said. “Where we grew up racing we always had tracks like this. It is not the heaviest I have ever raced and I thought it was still pretty flat! I wish it could have even been bumpier.”
Hyvinkää served as a valid warm-up. Stony, slippery hard-pack that has a propensity to ripple into braking bumps is what lies ahead at Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic this weekend while the much deeper sand of Lommel seven days later is renowned and notorious. Two new venues will be found in Brazil and Mexico in September.