A tough weekend for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing at MXGP round two

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Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing have completed a difficult day of racing at round two of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Following a strong start to the season in Russia, Thomas Kjer Olsen placed 12th in Great Britain, with a race one crash hindering his overall result. In the MX2 class, Jed Beaton fared best with 12th overall while Kay de Wolf charged through the pack in both motos to finish just behind his teammate in 13th.

Round two of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship took place at the popular Matterley Basin circuit in the UK. For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, the venue provided many frustrations with the results not telling the full story of the team's weekend. Despite this, all riders took positives from the British GP and look ahead to round three in Italy next weekend.

Thomas Kjer Olsen was hoping the Matterley event would see a continuation of his positive early season form. Moving into 11th early in race one, TKO then made a mistake, which resulted in his front wheel losing grip, and he fell. Kjer Olsen was quick to remount, only losing three positions, and went on to end the moto in 14th place.

Race two began with rain falling on the Matterley Basin circuit. Despite a strong start, passing opportunities were limited due to the slick riding surface. And with Kjer Olsen’s rivals circulating at a similar pace to the Dane, passing certainly proved to be difficult. Completing lap one in 16th, Thomas advanced to 12th by the race end, claiming 12th overall. He now lies ninth in the MXGP standings.

Arminas Jasikonis made a very welcome return to the paddock at the MXGP of Great Britain. The Lithuanian enjoyed being back with his team and is positive of building as the season continues, and is already looking forward to the upcoming GPs.

The opening MX2 race of the day was shaping up for Jed Beaton to deliver a strong result on his FC 250. A great start saw the Australian in fourth place for the opening five laps, well on pace with the leading riders. Frustratingly, Jed caught the edge of a braking bump while closing in on Thibault Benistant in third, which resulted in a sizable crash and a damaged motorcycle. Lining up for race two, Beaton was shuffled back in the early stages of the moto before a race-long charge saw him cross the finish line in eighth place.

Kay de Wolf continues to find his feet in the MX2 World Championship. As an unfortunate victim of the slippery racing surface in the opening moto, Kay fell on lap one and remounted down in 26th place and with a lot of work to do. The young Dutchman then charged for the full moto, passing riders on all parts of the track to cross the finish line in a well-deserved 15th. Kay would match this result in race two to claim 13th overall and maintain his 16th place position in the championship standings.

In the EMX250 class, Maxime Grau made his debut for the team and immediately impressed. Charging to an incredible fourth place finish in race one, a first turn crash led to a 31st place finish in moto two. Nevertheless, Grau showed remarkable speed and maturity in both races to claim 12th overall.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will next be in FIM Motocross World Championship action at the MXGP of Italy, round three of the series on July 4.

Thomas Kjer Olsen: “I have mixed feelings about today. It wasn’t a disaster by any means, but I wanted more, for sure. I didn’t put myself in the best positions really and this is what cost me. My crash in race one cost me a top-10 result I believe, so that one was disappointing. The pace was really high today and everyone was similar in speed so it was hard to make passes. It’s only my second GP in this class so it was definitely a learning day and we’ll improve for next weekend.”

Arminas Jasikonis: “It’s really nice to be back in the paddock and racing again. Obviously, the results aren’t where I’d like them to be but it’s a good starting point. With the team we have goals and getting the first GP done was the first goal and the first step back to where I once was. Already I’m looking forward to next weekend and building from today. I feel great on the bike and my speed was pretty good so I can’t wait to line up and race again.”

Jed Beaton: “As soon as I went out for the first lap in practice I felt great on my bike. I loved the track and then in race one things were going really good. I got into fourth and was just biding my time, finding some good lines and letting the track dry out before making a charge. Unfortunately, I caught a bump wrong and had a pretty big crash. I hit my head and my bike was too bent up to continue. It’s a real shame as up until that point I felt awesome out there. In race two I lined up to give it a good go and finished eighth. Not where we want to be but it’s early in the season and there’s a long way to go. My starts were good so despite the crash there are some positives to take away from this weekend.”

Kay de Wolf: “It’s good to get another GP done and under my belt. I was happy with my riding but a crash on the first lap of race one was really frustrating. After that though I just put my head down, kept charging and finished 15th so I was quite happy with that result. In race two I clashed with someone just after getting over the start gate and had to shut off. It was another long race, battling through everybody and another 15th place finish, so that was a pretty decent result. My results were definitely better than expected so this gives me a lot of confidence going into next weekend.”

Results – 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 2

MXGP - Overall
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 45pts; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 43; 3. Jeffery Herlings (KTM) 38… 12. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 16

MXGP - Race 1
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 36:02:691, 14 laps; 2. Jorge Prado (KTM) 36:10:613; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 36:13:193... 14. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 36:49:593

MXGP - Race 2
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 36:18:266, 14 laps; 2. Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) 36:19:734; 3. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 36:33:755... 12. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 37:09:712; 24. Arminas Jasikonis (Husqvarna) 37:48:072

MX2 - Overall
1. Maxime Renaux (Yamaha) 47pts; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (KTM) 43; 3. Ruben Fernandez (Honda) 37… 12. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 13; 13. Kay de Wolf (Husqvarna) 12

MX2 - Race 1
1. Maxime Renaux (Yamaha) 37:05:389, 14 laps; 2. Ruben Fernandez (Honda) 37:07:979; 3. Mathys Boisrame (Kawasaki) 37:08:126… 15. Kay de Wolf (Husqvarna) 38:06:385

MX2 - Race 2

1. Mattia Guadagnini (KTM) 36:34:006, 14 laps; 2. Maxime Renaux (Yamaha) 36:36:413; 3. Rene Hofer (KTM) 36:38:403… 8. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 36:59:220; 15. Kay de Wolf (Husqvarna) 37:28:430

Championship Standings – After Round 2

MXGP
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 93pts; 2. Jeffery Herlings (KTM) 78; 3. Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) 73… 9. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) 43

MX2
1. Ruben Fernandez (Honda) 79pts; 2. Maxime Renaux (Yamaha) 74; 3. Mathys Boisrame (Kawasaki) 74… 10. Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) 37; 16. Kay de Wolf (Husqvarna) 23