The Swedish track north of Gothenburg has been a regular fixture of the series since 2000. For De Dycker, who won his maiden GP in Sweden in 2007, the scenic ‘Glimminge Motorstadion’ has always a lucrative hunting field. He recorded his best result of the season in Uddevalla last year, and captured two more podiums on earlier occasions.
Based on your results it seems that the Swedish Grand Prix is one of your favourite events on the calendar.
Ken De Dycker: “Obviously I manage to get good results there but the track is not one that I’m particularly fond of. With the announced rainy weather the track will become even more technical and that should suit. Actually it’s a place that’s always pretty technical. In some places the soil is very rocky and slippery, in other spots they have made the terrain more sandy but the base remains hard-pack soil. You really have to be picky about your lines in Uddevalla.”
Uddevalla has been a regular for quite some time. Although the track has evolved it remains a place with a very unique vibe.
De Dycker: “Absolutely! In 2006 they changed the start, and they reversed the course but all of the modifications they have made really improved the track. It’s always a GP that’s well attended, on top of that you have the fans on the rocks who create a very special scene. One of the special things is also the Scandinavian summer, if you are not used to it you can’t judge what time it is in the evening! But in terms of atmosphere the Swedish Grand Prix is very lively and festive. It can just be a bit hard to go to sleep.”
In Bastogne and Kester you have confirmed your speed. Do you feel you’re still going from strength to strength?
De Dycker: “Yes, I think the second half of the season should be good. The last three GP’s my starts have been difficult, I had some bad luck or got hit by other riders. If I can make a good start I can run top-4 and it would be awesome to show what the new KTM SX-F 450 is capable of!”
The start can be tricky inSweden. What’s your game plan?
De Dycker: “You need a good gate pick and thus a good time pre-qualifying practice. This allows you to start on the inside, there’s this hairpin and then you turn back. The start is not dangerous, actually I quite like the start in Uddevalla.”
Give us the latest on your bike.
De Dycker: “Last week we did some testing with new engines. We also find the time to try some new stuff and continue the development in a new direction. It should be interesting, but the proof is in the pudding and you only now whether it works by racing. I tried the latest evolution last weekend in Kester. Because it was so muddy you had a lot of wheel spin there, and you needed to be very careful with the throttle. My start in the second moto was pretty good so I’m looking forward give the new beast a go this weekend!”
How’s your Swedish after all those years?
De Dycker: “Very limited, I’m sorry! Ikea, Volvo and knäckebröd, anyone?”
Picture by CDS