It was another example of the awful luck that has befallen the Swedish rider during 2016. A crash in pre-season testing led to a broken collar-bone which saw him miss the first round of the MCE-backed series at Silverstone and then – when he was finally back to full fitness – he scooped a points finish at Thruxton. After that, a series of crashes including one at Clearways at Brands Hatch in early August and one through no fault of his own at Cadwell Park later that month has left the 26-year-old battered and bruised for the final half of the season.
Sadly, the bad luck continued for Filip at the final round of the series at Brands Hatch. He said: “Qualifying went well as I went quicker and quicker: faster than I’d ever been around the Brands Hatch GP circuit by the end, which is what you want. The bike felt good and I was working with the team really well. We went into the first race and the opening two laps were good. However, on lap three at Hawthorn’s Bend, Howie Mainwaring-Smart lost his brakes and he hit me at 160-170mph from behind. When you get knocked off your bike, that’s when you realise how quick you’re going as it all happens so fast. I finished up under the tyre wall whilst Howie ended on top.”
Sadly Howie sustained a broken wrist, whilst a trackside race official suffered head injuries in the crash. Filip added: “Obviously my thoughts are with both Howie and the marshal who had also been hurt in the incident. I didn’t break any bones, but I’m really badly bruised and have a sore right knee, right wrist and a painful neck. I’m black and blue all over. At that kind of speed your whole body gets traumatised. I’m now left looking at the season and – while I may have had more falls in other years – I’ve never had so many bad crashes which lead to injuries, so thank goodness I wear the right safety kit or it could have been much worse.”
Now at the end of a turbulent 2016 it’s time for Filip to look back and reflect on what happened and re-focus for next year. He explained: “It wasn’t the season I wanted, clearly. My aim is to win – in whatever class I race in. But when I turn it around, I’m in the toughest domestic motorcycle series in the world and I’ve shown my speed a few times and not many people get to the level to compete here. Going forward I’m giving myself a few weeks off to mentally and physically repair myself. With all of 2016’s crashes it will take the whole winter to fix things and get to my previous fitness level. I’m actually looking forward to beginning my recovery.”
Today (Monday 17th October) Filip heads home to Sweden to begin his recuperation. “I’m still very emotional about what’s happened this year and feeling the pain from this weekend’s crash,” he described. “But I’m also excited about next season and will come back fitter and stronger. First of all I need a proper rest and think about 2017. When I get home to Sweden I will see a lot of my sponsors, many of which have been with me since I started road-racing at 13 years old. They are close friends, so it will be good to be with them and – of course – my family. After that, the plans for 2017 will come together so please keep looking at my website and social media pages for updates. I really want to say a big thank you to my fans this year: you have all been so supportive in a very difficult season. You help keep me focused and I want to thank you all – wherever in the world you are from.”