Thomas Kjer Olsen ‘super-happy’ with MXGP debut

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen has claimed an impressive sixth overall in his MXGP class debut at round one of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship. Competing for the first time in the premier division after many years of success in MX2, Kjer Olsen rode two calculated races to deliver strong results in both motos. In the MX2 division, Jed Beaton opened his campaign with a solid seventh overall with MX2 rookie Kay de Wolf claiming 16th.

With a stunning backdrop of the Black Sea, the Orlyonok circuit in Russia played host to the opening round of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship. The fast, hardpack track provided challenging conditions for all riders with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing securing what was ultimately a positive start to their 2021 season.

Making his MXGP class debut in Russia was former MX2 ace Thomas Kjer Olsen. Following a strong start in race one, Kjer Olsen advanced to eighth on lap nine and then delivered consistent laps for the remainder of the moto to maintain his position and claim a comfortable top-10 finish.

Lining up for moto two, the Dane again completed lap one well-placed among the leading riders, in seventh. Despite a small crash on lap three, which relegating the 24-year-old to 12th, Thomas regrouped quickly and put together a race-long charge that resulted in a well-deserved seventh-place finish. Together with his opening race result of eighth, TKO claimed sixth overall for a truly impressive MXGP class debut.

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In the MX2 class, Jed Beaton arrived at round one with high expectations following his fourth-place finish in last year’s championship. The Australian was on the pace from the moment he took to the Orlyonok circuit, posting the third fastest time in the timed qualification session to ensure a favourable gate pick for the point-scoring races.

In race one, opening lap chaos ensued with Beaton shuffled back a few positions after a strong start. Following a hard charge through the field, the FC 250 mounted rider claimed a well-earned seventh in the opening moto. The second race started with Jed again inside the top-10 until a heavy fall on lap three demoted him to 17th. Fortunate to escape injury, the 23-year-old muscled his way forwards to claim 11th in the moto, good enough for seventh overall and vital, hard-fought championship points.

Kay de Wolf began his MX2 career with an impressive 10th place finish in the opening moto at the MXGP of Russia. Following many months during the off-season focused on improving his hardpack riding skills, Kay’s hard work paid dividends with his top-10 race result on his MX2 World Championship debut. Frustratingly, race two wasn’t quite so fruitful for the young Dutchman. A sizable crash resulted in a damaged machine and a 21st place finish.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will next be in action at round two of the FIM Motocross World Championship, on June 27, for the MXGP of Great Britain where Arminas Jasikonis makes his return to racing in the MXGP class.

Thomas Kjer Olsen: “I’m super-happy with today. Coming into this race it was all a little bit of an unknown because I’ve not raced in this class before and there are so many good riders. My goal was to be in the top 10, so to finish sixth overall is really amazing. It took a little while to find my flow in race one but for race two I felt great on the bike, and I just felt physically strong all day. I made a couple of mistakes in race two but still came back to finish seventh. This result is a nice confidence boost early in the season and we’ll go back to work next week, keep doing what we’re doing and I’m really looking forward to round two.”

Jed Beaton: “The day started really good with third in qualifying. From there it wasn’t my greatest day, at least it wasn’t where I wanted to be anyway. It’s the first of 19 rounds so there’s still a long way to go and many races so it’s not over by any means. The class is so stacked that it was hard to make passes today but we’ll move forward from here. I’ll be working on my starts during the next couple of weeks and I’ll be back for more at Matterley Basin in two weeks’ time.”

Kay de Wolf: “It feels amazing to have finally competed in my first MX2 GP. The team has been amazing, and they’ve built such a great bike for me. Obviously the second race wasn‘t great with a big crash but it’s all part of the learning curve. Before that I had a good race going and crashing out of sixth place wasn’t part of the plan, but I’m really happy with how I felt on the bike today. I’ve spent a lot of time improving my riding skills on hardpack and this gives me confidence for the rest of the season.”

Words and pic: Husqvarna