Jasikonis on the toughest race of his life!
Arminas Jasikonis continued his upward trend by getting a fifth place finish in the second moto of the MXGP of Italy. At the extremely hot and difficult Ottobiano track, the Suzuki World MXGP rider led for the first couple of laps before crossing the line in a highly respectable fifth place. Unfortunately mistakes in the first race meant he was unable to finish that moto, but his performance in race two showed everyone that the Lithuanian rider belongs at the front of the field.
“In the first moto I made too many mistakes,” commented Jasikonis. “I was coming through the field after a poor start and Romain Febvre hit me with his bike which was quite painful. I was then coming back from dead last and I was riding well, I was fast all weekend I thought. But as I was coming though, I crashed again and couldn’t do it anymore. I was so tired and it was so hot, I decided to pull in and get some rest and prepare myself for the second race as best as I could. Like Latvia, I went for the start in race two and I pretty much got the holeshot, I think I missed it by a couple of centimetres, but it was good enough to allow me to lead for a couple of laps. With the heat, it was the toughest race of my life and I even had to take off my goggles to get some air into my face. I survived until the end though and finished fifth which is ok for me. I’m still learning, but I have the speed, I just need to improve the condition a little bit more, so I can get this type of result in both races.”
General Manager echoed those sentiments with his thoughts on the weekend: “AJ showed yesterday that he really had speed when he missed winning the qualification moto by just one lap. He’s a good sand rider, we know that, but the heat was extreme and he’s only really been preparing for nine months now so it was tough for him. It’s hard to get into good enough shape for these conditions in such a short space of time. In the first moto he got a bad start and he came back through the field before crashing and he was just too exhausted to continue. In the second moto he got the virtual holeshot and led the race for a few laps, battling for a few laps with Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli. It was great to see our RM-Z450WS up front and doing great, getting good starts and showing everyone it is a top machine. AJ is happy with the bike too and the fifth place proves it. He just needs to work a little more on his starts so he can do it for both races and then he’ll be challenging the overall positions too. He got fifth in the moto, despite struggling with the heat but he survived and brought it home across the finish line.”
The Suzuki World MXGP team should be back to full force next weekend in Portugal as Kevin Strijbos looks to return to action after his elbow injury that has seen him sit out the last six GPs. Combined with Jasikonis, the pair will be hoping to continue Suzuki’s steady rise up the rankings in this highly competitive MXGP class.