|TOP 10 CLASS RESULTS FOR THOMAS KJER OLSEN, PAULS JONASS AND ARMINAS JASIKONIS AT CHAMPIONSHIP ENDING MXGP OF CHINA|
Successfully completing the 18th and final round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rounded out the MXGP of China in Shanghai with Thomas Kjer Olsen placing fifth overall in the MX2 class and MXGP teammates Pauls Jonass and Arminas Jasikonis placing sixth and eighth respectively.
Sixth overall in the MXGP class, Pauls Jonass put in two solid rides at the final MXGP event of 2019. Despite not feeling 100% throughout his weekend in Shanghai, Jonass ran as high as fourth in the opening moto before placing an eventual fifth. In race two Jonass completed the opening five laps in sixth before working his way into fifth. Falling back two places he crossed the finish in seventh for sixth overall.
Like Jonass, Arminas Jasikonis secured two top 10 MXGP class results in China. Well-placed at the start of the opening moto he held sixth at the end of lap one before moving into fifth on lap three. Falling back two positions Jasikonis eventually placed sixth. Despite hoping for more of the same in the second moto, AJ rounded out the first lap in 12th and worked his way forwards to complete the moto in 10th.
For MX2 class rider Thomas Kjer Olsen the MXGP of China came just one week after he was forced to abandon the MXGP of Turkey due to severe food poisoning. Working hard to be fully prepared for the GP, Thomas and the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team used much of Saturday’s track time to work on bike set-up ahead of the MX2 qualifying race. Confident of a strong result, TKO frustratingly placed ninth.
Showing impressive speed during the opening moto, Kjer Olsen made a good start, going on to complete the opening lap in seventh. Charging hard he made passes on each of the opening five laps to quickly work his way into third, which he held through to lap nine. Possibly pushing a little too hard, TKO lost his rhythm and despite continuing to give his all dropped back to an eventual finishing position of fifth.
Race two saw Thomas complete the first lap in seventh after a strong start before climbing to fifth on lap four. Hoping to match the pace of the three riders ahead of him, TKO dropped back to fifth, matching his opening moto finishing position and claiming fifth overall for the MXGP of China.
The 2019 MXGP series was one of two halves for former MX2 World Champion Pauls Jonass. Using early GPs to build up his fitness following off-season knee surgery, once past the summer break and more settled in MXGP competition, the FC 450 mounted rider started to improve his results. With stand-out performances at the MXGPs of Italy, Germany, Indonesia, Sweden and Turkey, Jonass showed improved speed and results to earn a hard-fought sixth-place result in his rookie MXGP season.
Rounding out his 2019 MXGP campaign one position behind Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Pauls Jonass, Arminas Jasikonis claimed a highly positive final championship ranking of seventh. Showing impressive speed and confidence during the opening GPs, the tall Lithuanian scored points in all but one moto during 2019.
Despite being derailed by sickness at the MXGP of Turkey and crashing heavily at both the MXGP of Belgium and Indonesia, 2019 was hugely positive for Thomas Kjer Olsen. Showing impressive speed and earning consistent podium results during the first half of the series, TKO led the MX2 championship fight early on following the early season injury to eventual title winner Jorge Prado. With Prado back to his best, Kjer Olsen kept fighting, establishing himself in second in the championship before going on to claim a well-deserved MX2 class runner-up championship result.
With the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship now complete, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna turn their attentions to the FIM Motocross of Nations, in Assen, The Netherlands on September 29.
Pauls Jonass: “I have some mixed feelings after this MXGP of China. With some podium results in recent races I really wanted the same here, to end the year on a high note. But I didn’t feel as sharp as I have been feeling. I’m not sure it’s the travel, but anyway it certainly wasn’t a bad way to end the series. I got pretty ok starts in both races but dropped back a little. Both races were like that. But sixth overall is a pretty decent result. Also, to finish sixth in the MXGP championship is very positive. It was a steady start to the year, coming back from injury and also adjusting to the MXGP bike. The second half of the year was very positive – I started to improve my strength, feeling with the bike, starts and results. Now we’ll focus on the Nations, before some time at home and then preparations for next season.”
Arminas Jasikonis: “I didn’t get the results that I hoped I would here in China, but the GP has been a really good one to end the MXGP championship. I didn’t quite feel 100% but I finished inside the top 10 and head back to Europe fit and healthy. I had a little lack of energy in the first race – racing in the heat and humidity is something I need to work on. I fell on the first lap of the second race and dropped back a few positions. But I feel like it’s been a good year – I’m very proud to have finished seventh in the world with the support of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team. At times a lack of experience cost me some positions, but there were also some very positive results. I’m looking forward to the Nations now and starting to prepare for next season.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen: “We worked hard to fine-tune some new suspension settings during Saturday, so to get ninth in Qualification was disappointing and meant that I didn’t get a good gate pick today. I guess I can say it’s not been my best weekend, but on a positive note I’m healthy heading back to the Motocross of Nations and ready to start working towards 2020. I had really good speed at the start of the first moto, but maybe pushed a little too hard. When I came up on the third placed rider I lost my rhythm and went backwards again. My speed was good, so I was pleased with that. I felt like I recovered well after the first moto and got a good start. I tried to hold on to the first three guys but slowly started to lose a little time to them. My 5/5 result isn’t the way I wanted to end the series, but overall it’s been a very positive year for me. Second in the MX2 championship is great and the first half of the season went really well. Crashing in Indonesia changed things a little it seems, after that I had some more crashes and also the sickness in Turkey. But runner-up in MX2 is great. I’m really motivated to work hard so I can give all I have to fight for the title next year.”
Results – 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 18
MXGP – Overall
MXGP – Race 1
MXGP – Race 2
MX2 – Overall
MX2 – Race 1
MX2 – Race 2
Championship Standings – After Round 18