Arminas Jasikonis claims race win at MXGP of Riga

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis has claimed his first ever MXGP moto victory after topping the second race at the Grand Prix of Riga, round four of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship. Qualifying on pole, Jasikonis unfortunately suffered a crash in the opening moto, but regrouped to claim a hard-fought victory around the challenging Kegums circuit in race two. In the MX2 class, Jed Beaton put in a strong performance in both motos to claim sixth overall, while teammate Thomas Kjer Olsen placed fifth in the opening MX2 race, before aggravating an existing injury in race two.

Enjoying a positive start to the fourth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, Arminas Jasikonis qualified fastest, ensuring the Lithuanian lined up on the inside gate for the opening MXGP moto. Frustratingly, AJ was unable to translate his impressive qualifying speed into a strong first race result as he crashed in turn one together with a number of his rivals. Displaying good speed, Jasikonis muscled his FC 450 around the fast and rough Kegums circuit, setting the fastest lap of the race while in traffic. Arminas continued his charge and crossed the finish line in a well-earned eighth place.

The early stages of race two at the MXGP of Latvia were much more prosperous for Jasikonis. Ending lap one in fifth position, he utilised a number of his favoured sweeping lines around the famous Kegums circuit to move into second place on lap three. Shadowing race leader Jeffrey Herlings as the race entered the closing stages, a mistake from Herlings saw Jasikonis seize his opportunity, inheriting the lead and racing on to his maiden MXGP race victory. Arminas sits fourth in the MXGP championship standings.

A first-turn fall saw Jed Beaton forced to fight his way through the field during the opening MX2 moto at the MXGP of Riga. The last rider on track after parting company with his FC 250, a heroic effort on the opening lap saw the Australian work back up to 19th place. Showing superior fitness, Beaton continued his charge, setting his fastest lap of the moto on lap 13 as he worked his way towards an eventual eighth-place finish.

Rounding the first turn of race two in sixth place set Jed Beaton up for a strong second moto. Breaking free from the chasing pack, the 22-year-old made multiple challenges to advance into fifth place but couldn’t find a way through. Crossing the finish line in sixth position the Australian earned sixth overall. Jed maintains third place in the MX2 World Championship standings. 

Enjoying a great jump when the start gate dropped for the opening MX2 race, Thomas Kjer Olsen emerged from the first corner in seventh place. An opening lap charge by the Dane moved him into fifth place from where he went on to ride an error-free and untroubled moto. Despite the recent fracture to his right shoulder blade, Kjer Olsen held strong to end of the race in fifth position.

Race two was over quickly for Kjer Olsen. Another top-10 start saw him at the front of the field but after coming together with another rider on the opening lap his race was over. Aggravating his existing injury, the 23-year-old opted to retire from the race and focus on his recovery ahead of the upcoming fifth round of the MX2 World Championship.

Kay de Wolf bounced back from a big crash in the opening EMX250 race in Latvia to fight his way through to a 14th place finish. In the second moto, the 15-year-old FC 250 rider got off to a great start before putting in a fast, yet calculated ride to claim fourth place and secure seventh overall. The result elevates the young Dutchman to fourth place in the championship standings.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will line up for round five of the FIM Motocross World Championship on August 16, competing for the third and final time at the Kegums circuit in Latvia.

Arminas Jasikonis: “It feels so, so good to get my first MXGP race win. Overall, I know I could have got more out of today, but even though the first race didn’t go like we wanted it to, it’s finished in the best way. Qualifying fastest was great and I lined up on the inside for race one. I was unlucky in the first turn, falling with a few other riders. It was just a little bit unfortunate. I was able to regroup and get going quickly. I passed riders almost every lap and caught up to the leaders, so it was a positive race really. Second moto, I had a much better start and pushed really hard for the first few laps and moved into third place. I passed Cairoli for second place and then chased after Herlings. I couldn’t quite close the gap but then he fell and I took the lead. The race wasn’t over though, and I had some serious pressure, but I kept calm, hit my lines and took the win. I’m so happy for myself and the team, it’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to race again on Sunday.”

Jed Beaton: “Another tough GP. Qualifying went great again but I went down in the first turn of the first race. I was dead last and just charged the whole moto and ended up with eighth place. That was ok but not really what I wanted. Moto two was better. A decent start and I moved into sixth place so I was in a good position. I had a good pace but after the first race I’d used up a lot of energy. I challenged Maxime Renaux a few times but couldn’t quite make the pass stick. A frustrating day but I’m healthy and looking forward to racing again on Sunday.” 

Thomas Kjer Olsen: “My first race was good but I was still struggling with my shoulder. I finished fifth which I was a little surprised about because I can’t really ride how I’d like to because I of my injury. I have to compensate and hold onto the bike differently, which is a bit of a challenge. I came here really prepared and my fitness is good so it’s a shame. But still, fifth place was a great result. Unfortunately, early in the second race I came together with someone and crashed. I was already sore and banged myself up again so it would have been impossible to score any points in the second moto.”

Results – 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 4

MXGP - Overall
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 43pts; 2. Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha) 40; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 40; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 38

MXGP - Race 1
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 17 laps, 34:29:922; 2. Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) 34:34:542; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 34:35:595… 8. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 34:49:547; 23. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:15:886; 28. Matiss Karro (Husqvarna) 16 laps, 34:52:186

MXGP - Race 2
1. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 34:12:449; 2. Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha) 34:13:574; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 34:14:557… 24. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:07:676; 25. Matiss Karro (Husqvarna) 36:26:780

MX2 - Overall
1. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 50pts; 2. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Kawasaki) 44; 3. Mathys Boisrame (Kawasaki) 40… 6. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 28; 13. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 16; 16. Josh Gilbert (Husqvarna) 11; 22. Alberto Forato (Husqvarna) 3

MX2 - Race 1
1. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 17 laps, 34:34:944; 2. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Kawasaki) 34:41:875; 3. Mathys Boisrame (Kawasaki) 34:50:286… 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:54:196; 8. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 35:14:030; 15. Josh Gilbert (Husqvarna) 35:53:350; 18. Alberto Forato (Husqvarna) 36:05:775; 24. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 16 laps, 35:01:396; 26. Johannes Nermann (Husqvarna) 35:05:756

MX2 - Race 2
1. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 17 laps, 34:33:523; 2. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Kawasaki) 34:43:282; 3. Mathys Boisrame (Kawasaki) 34:56:514… 6. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 35:02:638; 16. Josh Gilbert (Husqvarna) 36:17:025; 19. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 16 laps, 34:34:623 21. Johannes Nermann (Husqvarna) 35:07:883

Championship Standings – After Round 4

1. Jeffery Herlings (KTM) 170pts; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 142; 3. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 129; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 121… 22. Pauls Jonass (Husqvarna) 26; 23. Evgeny Bobryshev (Husqvarna) 17; 28. Lars van Berkel (Husqvarna) 9; 30. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 5

1. Tom Vialle (KTM) 170pts; 2. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 162; 3. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 123… 9. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 89; 14. Alberto Forato (Husqvarna) 52; 20. Josh Gilbert (Husqvarna) 26; 25. Mattia Guadagnini (Husqvarna) 15; 31. Roland Edelbacher (Husqvarna) 5