Team Suzuki Press Office – August 17.
Arminas Jasikonis and Kevin Strijbos both took moto wins on board their Suzuki RM-Z450WS at the Belgian International event in Keiheuvel, in what was a highly successful warm-up for these next four rounds of the World Motocross Championships. Jasikonis would go one-three for first overall, while Strijbos went four-one for third overall, as both riders received a confidence boost before the trip up to Scandinavia.
After going missing from the schedule in 2016, the Swedish MXGP at Uddevalla makes a welcome return to calendar this year, and all five members of the team are looking forward to getting back on-track this weekend after experiencing highs and lows at the Swiss GP.
“I haven’t ridden Uddevalla in a long time”, said Jasikonis. It was off the schedule last year and I’m pretty sure the track has changed a lot since I rode it. It looks like it is still a fun track though, a bit tricky in places but it’s going to be another new track for me on the RM-Z450WS and that’s always exciting. Winning today was cool for me, as it’s always nice to win races, wherever they are. Now I want to try and get back up to that level in Sweden.”
Strijbos also has positive things to say about a place that holds good memories for him: “I’ve always liked the track in Sweden, and it was a pity we didn’t race there last year. I hope they haven’t changed it too much and messed it up because I really enjoyed racing there. It’s a good layout and it’s good to pass. I’m looking forward to it as I’ve had good results most of the time there, so it should be fun.”
While the RM-Z450WS riders were winning in Belgium, the MX2 contingent were taking some time off from racing, getting in some practice and making sure they are fit and healthy for the weekend.
Jeremy Seewer was a little disappointed to have missed-out of winning his home GP but he’s put that behind him and is now fully focused on the mission at hand: “I’ve ridden two GPs in Sweden, plus a couple of times in the European series. It’s a special kind of track and I liked it in the past as I had some good results there. It’s a different type of soil there, but I’m looking forward to it and the chance to bounce back and get another win.”
Hunter Lawrence is also desperate to get up front and put in the moto scores that his speed has deserved, and he hopes a new venue for him is the place that it can happen: “I haven’t been to Sweden before, but I’ve seen some racing clips on MXGP and other places. I’m excited to go and it’ll be another fresh slate to start on, where I can try and improve and be better than the previous weekend, which is something I always aim to achieve. I’m excited to go though, it looks like a fun track and a fun country.”
With Bas Vaessen missing out with his collarbone injury, the decision was made by Stefan Everts to move-up EMX250 rider Zach Pichon into the slot in what will be the French youngster’s MX2 debut. “We decided to put Zach on the MX2 bike in Sweden, just so he can ride a bit more”, said Everts. “We don’t expect any results there from him; it’s just simply so he can get more track time as in the EMX250 races they don’t get too much. He is a young kid and we want him to get as much riding time as possible on these GP tracks so this is a good chance for him.”
Understandably, Pichon is delighted with the opportunity he has been presented with: “The decision happened after Vaessen got injured and Stefan gave me the opportunity to fill-in for him. I missed a few races this year with my injuries so this is a chance to get some more track-time. It’s going to be a good first GP and good experience to move up a class. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully, it would be cool to get some points.”
So, with renewed enthusiasm and vigour, the five members of the Suzuki World MXGP and MX2 teams head to Sweden to take on the Uddevalla track for the 16th round of the 2017 World Championships.