JASIKONIS SETS BEST RESULT AT TOUGH ASSEN MXGP
Team Suzuki Press Office – August 28.
The revered TT Circuit Assen staged MXGP for just the second time with the 2016 Grand Prix of the Netherlands forming round 16 of 18 in the current FIM World Championship campaign and Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis parted the Dutch sand to take his works RM-Z450 to 13th position overall in front of a 32,000 attendance. The eighteen year old did manage seventh place in the second moto to record a personal best finish to-date.
The shallow and bumpy sand of the temporary course laid over the famous final chicane at Assen was a tight and difficult test; the surface soft in places and hard and slick in others and required commitment and confidence to consistently forge fast lap-times. A hot and sunny Saturday changed to spectacular thunderstorms and rain during the evening and through raceday morning; the effect of the downpours was to create a slower and more restrictive test.
Saturday was a tricky day for the Suzuki duo; Kevin Strijbos struggled to find traction and confidence through the sand while Jasikonis crashed in the Qualification Heat and entered the start gate down in 27th position.
Hoping for a better feeling in the first moto and after reverting back to some base settings on the RM-Z450 that he used in the initial practice session, Strijbos got out of the gate from 11th position and hovered around mid-pack until getting held-up through the second turn and then had to find a race strategy to come through the field. He soldiered up to 12th and then had a run-in with his team-mate which pushed the big 18 year old down to 18th and halted Strijbos’ charge to the top 10. The ‘#22’ eventually took 15th. Strijbos gated badly and tried to fight in the second moto on what a drier and faster surface but was off the pace and rolled home for another 15th and a final ranking of 16th for the day. With a total of 291 points he is currently 11th in the MXGP World Championship standings.