|POSITIVE RESULTS FOR ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING AT MXGP ROUND EIGHT AS TKO EARNS ANOTHER MX2 CLASS PODIUM|
|Thomas Kjer Olsen has led Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing through a demanding MXGP of Russia to earn a hard-fought second place overall MX2 class result at the hilly, slippery and hard-packed Orlynok circuit on the Black Sea coast. With Olsen’s teammate Jed Beaton returning from injury to secure his second-best moto finish of 2019 with seventh in race two, Pauls Jonass claimed the team’s best MXGP class result with a strong seventh overall.
Earning yet another well-deserved overall podium result, Thomas Kjer Olsen made light work of the slippery and in places unpredictable surface of the Orlynok track to lead no fewer than 12 laps during the opening MX2 moto. Fourth on lap one, he quickly moved into the runner-up position before making the pass on Darian Sanayei for the lead on lap seven. Pushing hard while clocking off the laps as race leader, despite a hugely spirited performance he was eventually pushed back into second by Jorge Prado with two laps to go. Following the MX2 championship leader over the line, TKO earned a strong second-place result, finishing less than one-and-a-half seconds behind Prado.
Going on to secure another runner-up moto result, and in doing so claiming second overall, TKO’s second race was very different from the first. Moving into second on lap four, and with Prado ahead of him, he focused on putting together lap-after-lap of mistake-free racing to finish second. Kjer Olsen continues to hold second position in the MX2 championship standings.
Unable to compete at the GP of France due to still feeling the effects of his crash at the GP of Portugal, Jed Beaton made a hugely successful return to racing in Russia. Forced to push extremely hard during the opening moto where he progressed from outside the top 20 to his eventual finishing position of 12th, Beaton saved his best for the second moto. Despite feeling the effects of both the high temperatures and his opening race efforts, he moved from ninth to eighth to seventh, before holding sixth for seven laps. Finally slipping behind Ben Watson with two laps to go, his seventh-place result was his second highest of the championship to date.
In the MXGP class, Pauls Jonass rounded out the MXGP of Russia with seventh overall following two strong and mistake-free performances. A former MX2 class winner at the Orlynok circuit, Jonass was quick to gel with the track’s hard-packed surface and following a good start and several early lap passes moved into fifth on lap three. Holding the position for eight laps, he dropped to eighth for three laps before his perseverance paid off and he moved into his eventual finishing position of seventh, two laps from the end of the race.
Following another good start Jonas held sixth for five high-paced laps at the start of the second moto before settling into seventh for the majority of the race. Pushing hard to the finish the former MX2 World Champion picked up one place with three laps to go when he passed early race leader Glenn Coldenhoff to take sixth.
Unfortunately, not having the best of GPs Arminas Jasikonis was unable to finish higher than 10th overall. Struggling to gel with the Russian track, the tall FC 450 rider finished ninth in the first race before placing 11th in the second moto. Jasikonis still sits fifth in the MXGP championship standings, just eight points from fourth.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will next be in action at round nine of the FIM Motocross World Championship, the MXGP of Latvia, on June 16.
Thomas Kjer Olsen: “It’s been another positive GP for me. It’s a little frustrating I didn’t have just a little more for Prado in the first moto, but generally it’s great to be on the podium again. I’ve been working on my starts and today I got out the gate well in both motos, which made a big difference. In the first moto I worked my way into the lead and felt good. The track was a little unpredictable in places, there were a few tricky slick spots, so I just tried to make sure I smooth. I don’t know how many laps I led but I just pushed hard to stay ahead, which I did until two laps to go. I gave everything to get back ahead of Prado, but I couldn’t make it happen. I got into second quickly in the second moto and just tried to me smooth and consistent. It was hot, but I felt good. Another second-place result was good.”
Jed Beaton: “I’m really happy with the way the GPs gone. Obviously, I needed a little bit of time off following my crash in Portugal and to come back after being unable to race in France and get two solid results is great. I did three good days of riding before coming to Russia, so I was confident things would go well because I felt good and importantly was pain free. The opening moto didn’t start too well, I got a bad start so had to work really hard. I went from outside the top 20 to 12th and put in a lot of effort. I was feeling the hard work in the second moto but made some good passes. I’m really pleased with seventh. I feel like I’m where I should be and now that the Portugal crash is behind me I want to build on these results starting with the Latvian GP next weekend.”
Pauls Jonass: “I was looking forward to coming here to Russia because I won a couple times in MX2, so I have good memories. I felt good on the track all weekend, my speed was where I wanted it to be. The track is super-fast and slick and hard to make a lot of time up, so when everyone is pushing hard it’s easy for mistakes to happen. I guess I tried to be aggressive but sensible at the start of both races. I didn’t get the best of starts, but they weren’t bad either. I made some good, quick passes and was pleased to be running in fifth for several laps in the opening moto. But I felt like the second moto was better – I kept fighting to finish sixth, which was a great way to end the GP.”
Arminas Jasikonis: “Not the GP I was hoping for at all and I wasn’t riding like I can or should have been. I don’t know why but I couldn’t find a good rhythm with the track, which meant that I was riding too hard, being too physical, in both races. Because I was riding too physically, I really felt the heat in the second moto. I gave my all but not at all what I wanted, but racing can be like this sometimes. We move on to the next GP and look to do better.”
Results – 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 8
MXGP – Overall
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 50 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (Yamaha) 44; 3. Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha) 36… 7. Pauls Jonass (Husqvarna) 29; 10. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 22; 20. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 4
MXGP – Race 1
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 34:40.798 21 laps; 2. Arnaud Tonus (Yamaha) 34:43.515; 3. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 35:10.452… 7. Pauls Jonass (Husqvarna) 35:22.853; 9. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 35:25.162; 18. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:22.525; 21. Evgeny Mikhaylov (Husqvarna) 35:08.178 (20 laps)
MXGP – Race 2
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 33:31.603 20 laps; 2. Arnaud Tonus (Yamaha) 33:36.617; 3. Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha) 33:41:513… 6. Pauls Jonas (Husqvarna) 33:50.389; 11. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 34:00.091; 20. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 34:38.515; 22. Evgeny Mikhaylov (Husqvarna) 33:57.098 19 laps;
MX2 – Overall
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 50 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen 44; 3. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 40… 10. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 23; 14. Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) 12; 18. Alvin Ostlund (Husqvarna) 10…
MX2 – Race 1
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 34:13.145 20 laps; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:14.394; 3. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 34:15.929… 12. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 35:03.583; 15. Alvin Ostlund (Husqvarna) 35:07.974; 17. Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) 35:20.285; 22. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 35:45.498
MX2 – Race 2
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 34:12.435 20 laps; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:17.084; 3. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 34:17.755… 7. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 34:50.163; 13. Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) 35:13.955; 17. Alvin Ostlund (Husqvarna) 35:35.276; 22. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 34:14.628 19 laps; 23. Davy Pootjes (Husqvarna) 34:15.875
Championship Standings – After Round 8
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 351 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 338; 3. Gautier Paulin (Yamaha) 231… 5. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 212; 11. Pauls Jonass (Husqvarna) 167; 19. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 69
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 347 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 327; Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 257… 9. Davy Pootjes (Husqvarna); 14. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 110; 16. Alvin Ostlund (Husqvarna) 81; 17. Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) 71