|STRONG PACE BUT BAD FORTUNE FOR ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING AT ROUND 12 OF THE FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP|
Completing the second of two back-to-back GPs in Indonesia, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen and Pauls Jonass were both unable to translate impressive speed into Grand Prix podium results at round 12 of the FIM Motocross World Championship. With each of the two riders frustratingly scoring points in only one moto at the MXGP of Asia (Indonesia) a costly off-track excursion in race one ruled Jonass out of a possible top-three result, while Kjer Olsen crashed heavily in the first corner of the second MX2 race following a third-place result in race one.
Despite claiming no points from the opening MXGP race, up until the moment when he got an old track side banner caught in his rear wheel, Pauls Jonass was showing impressive speed and sitting second behind MXGP series leader Tim Gajser. Making the first of two strong starts, Jonass moved into the runner-up position by the end of the opening lap before settling into the second-place spot. Spending eight consistent laps behind Gajser, after getting a little sideways over some braking bumps Jonass went off track, which ultimately ended his race.
Putting right his opening moto mistake, the former MX2 World Champion made an impressive start to the GP’s closing MXGP race, going on to move from fifth to third during the opening lap. Pushed back to fourth, Jonas maintained a strong pace and with 15 minutes of the moto remaining moved into third. A little under 10 minutes later he moved into second and despite continued pressure from Arnaud Tonus during the closing laps Jonass maintained his composure to earn a well-deserved second-place result.
For Arminas Jasikonis the MXGP of Asia was also one of mixed results. Running as high as third in the opening moto following a strong start, he spent the majority of the race in fourth position before dropping one spot to fifth with three laps to go.
Things simply didn’t go Jasikonis’ way in the second moto. Again starting well and racing close to the front of the pack and together with teammate Jonass during the opening lap, he gradually dropped down the results having been unable to find his rhythm on the polished and in places unpredictable track surface. In placing ninth Arminas rounded out the GP in a strong sixth overall.
In the MX2 class Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thomas Kjer Olsen’s GP of Asia disappointingly ended as he entered the first turn of the second moto. Pitched off his FC 250 and hitting the ground hard he took no further part in the race. Prior to his crash TKO had made an encouraging start to the GP with a solid third place result in the opening moto. Although not 100 per cent comfortable around the Semarang track Thomas ended the race feeling strong and looking forward to the second moto.
Jed Beaton also endured a challenging GP, with his overall result of seventh not a true reflection of the Australian’s pace. Placing a strong fourth in the opening MX2 moto behind teammate Kjer Olsen, in the second race a coming together with a local rider during the opening lap put him down the results where he battled his way back to an eventual 11th place finish.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team now return to Europe and will next be in action at round 13 of the FIM Motocross World Championship, the MXGP of Czech Republic, on July 28.
Thomas Kjer Olsen: “I guess it’s been one of those weekends where things should have finished a lot better than they did. The second moto ended at the first corner. Of course, I’m disappointed, but also pleased that I could walk away. It was a big hit. The first moto was a positive start to the GP. It was great to get the holeshot, my first in some time, but I didn’t feel too comfortable with the track. Jorge and Tom were both riding well so I pushed for third. Back to Europe now and onto Loket in two weeks.”
Jed Beaton: “It’s certainly been a mixed GP for me and the team. I really felt like I could challenge for the podium today, but the second moto put an end to that. The track had some tricky places but generally I felt good and found a nice rhythm. There weren’t so many line choices, so keeping mistakes to a minimum was really important. I got a good start in the first moto and made my way through into fourth behind Thomas. I really wanted to catch him, but I just ran out of laps. But I finished the race feeling good. The second race was frustrating. A local rider fell in front of me on the first lap and I had nowhere to go. I certainly wasn’t able to show what I had after that. Now these two fly-away races are done it’s back to Europe and Loket.”
Pauls Jonass: “There have been many positives from this GP, but I know that I should have had an overall podium result. Great starts, good speed, a really strong second moto, just my mistake in the first race that undid a lot of good work from me and the team. It was my mistake that I went off the track, but bad luck that I got some old banners stuck in my rear wheel. The race had been going really well to that point. I got a great start and felt really comfortable in second. Thankfully, I was able to come back with a strong second place result in the final moto, which is a great way to finish these two GPs in Indonesia. Overall, I feel that I have made some good progress – I’ve started to put the pieces together. My fitness is good now, I’ve improved on my starts and I’m able to race at the front for the full moto. I’m really looking forward to the final races of the championship. I want to put it all together and do my best to get strong results from the final six GPs.”
Arminas Jasikonis: “It’s been a frustrating GP for me. My qualifying race went well, the first moto went well, but I couldn’t complete things in the last race – I just didn’t feel comfortable on the track. It’s frustrating because the team did some great work and I felt like a top-six result was really possible. The positive is that my starts were good in both motos, but in the second race I just didn’t feel confident with the track surface. I’m happy to be going back to Europe and looking forward to the final GPs.”
Results – 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 12
MXGP – Overall
MXGP – Race 1
MXGP – Race 2
MX2 – Overall
MX2 – Race 1
MX2 – Race 2
Championship Standings – After Round 12