Despite a failed season, MV Agusta driver Niki Tuuli was able to conquer three podium places in the Supersport World Cup in 2021. The 26-year-old SPEEDWEEK.com revealed what slowed him down in addition to his injuries.
At the start of the Supersport World Cup in Aragon at the end of May, Niki Tuuli was exceptionally fast on the MV Agusta F3 675 until his fall. The Finn then had to go to the hospital with a concussion and neck pain and spend a night there.
It then took months before the man from Imatra found his speed again. Tuuli was regularly in the top 10, but he did not achieve any top results until mid-September. Then he was able to break the spell and celebrate his first podium of the season in Barcelona in third place. He finished third again in Jerez, and even second in the last race of the year in Indonesia. The 26-year-old finished the world championship in eleventh place with 140 points.
Tuuli has extended his contract with Andrea Quadranti’s team for 2022, it will then act again as the official works team MV Agusta Reparto Corse. As a team mate, Niki gets the young Turkish Bahattin Sofuoglu, who comes from the Supersport 300 class and will only contest the European races.
The fact that Tuuli was not able to fight in all races in 2021 had other reasons besides his injuries and lost self-confidence. “For us the problems started when Pirelli brought the soft SCX rear tire,” the MV Agusta driver told SPEEDWEEK.com. “The fact that we had extra grip with this tire made it worse for me. I use the throttle position to steer the rear wheel a lot when cornering, which is not possible with the SCX. That’s why I put more and more stress on the front tire and started to fall. All year long we tried to reduce the grip on the rear wheel and it got better too. “
It has always been one of the MV Agusta’s strengths that it handled the rear tire more gently than the competition. “That’s why we were always able to improve towards the end of the race,” said Tuuli. «You can’t go easy on the SCX because it’s so soft. Because of him, we have lost the MV’s strengths. I have enough talent to finish on the podium. But everything has to fit for that. If you have no feeling for the front tire at this level, then someone like Aegerter is suddenly like from another planet. “
In the past few years, the drivers on an MV Agusta F3 675 always had to struggle with top speed disadvantages, from 2022 the 800 will be allowed. “Half of the year we didn’t have the top speed of the others, when I was driving alone I was 10 km / h slower,” explained Tuuli. “The 800s should give us what we need. Then I no longer have to continuously push to the limit, which always risks falling. I assume that the MV will be quite strong, but that also depends on the tires. “
And what about the opponents? “Ducati is Ducati, they will be very strong,” Tuuli is convinced. “Maybe not right from the start, but they will come. At the moment, no one can predict which motorcycle will be the best. And how good the Yamaha will be. The Yamaha has been the best bike for at least three years and this year it definitely won’t be bad. “
As a final wish, the winner of Magny-Cours 2017 formulated: “The guys on the team have to learn better English over the winter. Or I have to learn Italian – but that is unlikely to happen. “