Estonian star tests 450 Yamaha ahead of 2021 campaign...
Following the announcement last month that his team had switched manufacturers for 2021, Harri Kullas has been testing his new Cab Screens Crescent Yamaha and all the initial signs are positive.
“I am really enjoying riding the Yamaha,” he said. “I’m a rider at that kind of level that any bike should be ridable – especially when the team gets support – but I have been testing and I really, really like the bike. I think there are eight riders this year who have been in the top 10 with Yamaha so it has to be a good bike.
“It was real easy to get comfortable with the bike. I think the second day I pretty much found my way with the suspension, handlebars and stuff like that. The Yamaha’s stock engine is really strong so that’s also another thing. I’ve been enjoying it a lot.”
The hard-working Estonian is used to racing up to 30 times a season so the COVID-19 restrictions have been tough on him in 2020.
“It obviously was a difficult year for everyone. It started for me quite well [at Valkenswaard] when I finished the second race 10th. The track was heavy but I like those conditions. So it started well and then one week later the world stopped with the Corona thing.
“After that it was just wait and see what the year brings to us. My main championship – the British championship – was cancelled so the main focus was the MX Nationals. That started also quite well and at the first round I was third overall, one point from the lead.
“I won the first race at the second round so after three motos I had the points lead and then we had bad luck in the second race and had to DNF and pretty much the championship was gone. Four rounds is a short championship and you need to finish every moto.”
Another DNF at Cusses Gorse at round three put a top-three finish out of reach for the 28-year-old but worse was to come at the final round at FatCat where he got hurt.
“To finish the year with an injury at the last round wasn’t that great, obviously. The start straight was really short and it was a simple mistake. I was really tight in the first corner and put my leg in the fresh sand, twisted my knee and had a small fracture on the tibia. I also stretched a ligament in my knee so that was my season done. I tried to ride one lap but I couldn’t shift the gears.
“It’s all good now. I had time off, took time to recover and had good physio on my knee. I waited seven weeks and for the last two weeks I have been testing and riding. The knee is strong again.”
While 2020 has been quiet by Harri’s usual standards, he was still more active than most riders who hadn’t committed to a full season of GPs.
“I did some races in Estonia, some in Finland, a few in England, one in Germany and one GP so, yeah, it was not really a long season but it is what it is. I’m that kind of person who doesn’t like to sit around – I just want to do stuff and if there’s a race in Estonia or England or Finland I just have to make it happen. That’s my job – to get to races – so there are not so many free weekends for me usually.
“I think I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my career and also smarter so these next years should be my best. We’ll see how it goes.”