Strijbos & Jasikonis Display Speed And Commitment In Lommel Sand

MXGP-14-Arminas Jasikonis-6


Team Suzuki Press Office – August 6.

Kevin Strijbos – 13-11 for 12th
Arminas Jasikonis – 11-29 for 16th

Kevin Strijbos and Arminas Jasikonis both put in huge amounts of effort as they tried to get their RM-Z450WS machines inside the top 10, at what was an extremely tricky MXGP of Belgium. The Lommel track is known as one of the toughest tracks in the world and both riders had to overcome difficult openings in order to score as many points as possible.

Unfortunately, Jasikonis’ task was made even harder by a rib injury he sustained last week, but despite this he was still able to move swiftly through the field in the second moto, showing great speed and technique as he rode into third position.
As he set his sights on the duo up front, disaster struck as a small lapse in concentration caused him to crash badly enough that he decided he was prudent to not finish the moto. Strijbos also showed good race speed that would have yielded a much higher points tally if he was able to have better opening laps.

“It wasn’t a great day,” said Strijbos. “I made some changes yesterday and unfortunately they didn’t work out. I put a different sprocket on for the first moto and riding with that setup just didn’t go well. It’s my own fault, I wanted to try it but it didn’t work how I wanted it to. In the second moto we switched back to yesterday’s settings and it went a bit better. I got a decent gate drop in the second race but then crashed early on in the first lap and had to come through the field. My riding was a lot better though, not quite the level of the top three, but I felt good. I could see Max Anstie crossing me at different points in the track and we were keeping in around the same places and he finished in third. So 11th is really all I could manage after that crash. I expected more but it didn’t quite turn out that way. Winning last year was exceptional but it isn’t easy to do it. It’s a shame that AJ had hurt his ribs too because I think he could have had a real chance at doing well here and perhaps repeating what I did in 2016, but we can’t change it now and just have to move forward to the next race.”

As Strijbos mentioned, sand GPs are a real strength for Jasikonis and it was a real pity that we weren’t able to see the Lithuanian rider at his best for these two motos. “Unfortunately with my rib injury I wasn’t able to ride at 100% this weekend. It is a real shame as I was looking forward to riding this round and believed I could do well here. In the second moto when I moved through into third, I think I showed the speed I have here and how I can ride in the sand. The first moto didn’t go well with the first turn crash but I still came through to 11th. And then in race two after getting in third place and passing all those top riders on my RM-Z450WS, I had the crash that caused me to feel a bit dizzy. Combined with the pain in my ribs, I decided it was better to pull out and try and get myself as healthy as possible for next weekend.”

General Manager Stefan Everts had high hopes for this race after Loket, but Jasikonis’ injury last week tempered those somewhat. However, he was still impressed with his ride in the second moto in what was further confirmation of just how talented the young Lithuanian rider is in the sandy conditions. “AJ hasn’t been able to ride the whole week after injuring his ribs whilst stretching. He has been checked out by the osteopath to try and fix it but I knew it would be a difficult weekend for him. He crashed in the first turn and had to come through the pack but it was tough for him as he was in a lot of pain. Then in the second moto he got a decent start and then showed again how fast he can be. He moved through the field like it was nothing, passing world champions and GP winners easily. It’s just a shame he suffered this injury before the race, but now we hope to finish off these last five races off strongly, especially Assen where I think he’ll go well. For Kevin it was also a tough weekend. He struggled with his setup but I think he rode better in that second moto after that bad first lap.”

With the Swiss GP next weekend, there isn’t too much time to prepare but both riders are feeling confident that a change of location and a change of track conditions will give them another chance to put their Suzuki’s at the top of the field.

MXGP Moto 1: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:34.225; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:27.342; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:39.296; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:53.580; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:56.056; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:00.579; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:02.065; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:06.221; 9. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:08.869; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:22.939; 11. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:32.183; 12. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:37.361; 13. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:41.428.

MXGP Moto 2: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:44.270; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:23.346; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:41.147; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:53.174; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:55.569; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:57.337; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:00.060; 8. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:17.957; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +1:32.207; 10. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:43.308; 11. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:46.629; 29. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), -11 lap(s).

MXGP Overall: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 31 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 29 p.; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 28 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 27 p.; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 27 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 26 p.; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 24 p.; 11. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 23 p.; 12. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), 18 p.; 16. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), 10 p.

MXGP Points Standings: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 567 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 468 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 462 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 446 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 376 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 365 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 336 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 320 p.; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 303 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 302 p.; 11. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 295 p.; 12. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 276 p.; 13. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), 251 p.; 14. Tanel Leok (EST, HUS), 165 p.; 15. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, HON), 134 p.; 16. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), 126 p.

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