The Suzuki World riders of Arminas Jasikonis, Hunter Lawrence, Jeremy Seewer and Bas Vaessen put in a large amount of effort into Saturday’s qualification races today and will be hoping that all pays off for tomorrow where they have another chance to put their Suzuki RM-Z machinery at the top of their classes.



After Germany’s one-two performance by Seewer and Lawrence, it was always going to be tough to match those standards at this hillside venue in Ernee, France and while today didn’t quite go to plan; Sunday is a brand-new day and all four riders are looking forward to getting back to their usual positions on the track.

On a track that is difficult to pass on, Jasikonis struggled out the gate but is hopeful that for the main motos tomorrow, he’ll do a lot better in the first few turns. “I didn’t get a good start and then couldn’t find any good lines to pass. I just wasn’t feeling right with the track. I wasn’t enjoying myself out there like I normally do and that’s why I could only manage to come 12th. I really want to fix everything though and get everything sorted for tomorrow, where hopefully I can put the RM-Z450WS back up nearer the front of the field.”

It was a similar story for Lawrence, who also had a lot more speed than his 11th in qualifying suggests: “I put in a really good timed practice. I got sixth gate-pick for the qualification race so that was good as it was probably my best timed practice so far this year. That was a positive. However, off the start of the qualification race, so guy on the inside came in too fast and cut across and took out a couple riders which then took me out as well. I got tangled up with them and started from almost dead last. I wasn’t able to find any rhythm and struggled to pass people and ended up 11th. I’ll come back and try to refresh myself for tomorrow and come back strong. I know from timed practice that if I can get a good start I can run up front on my RM-Z250 so I just need to make sure I do that in the motos.”
Unfortunately one of the guys that tangled with Lawrence off the start was Seewer and he started from even further back than his team mate. Once again though, Seewer got to work and despite a couple more mistakes, ended up 13th which isn’t too bad at this track where the gate is pretty open. “I feel good on the track, but I couldn’t put it into place for the qualification race. I got my leg caught in the back wheel of Brian Bogers so that put me down in the first turn. I charged back through and was going well again when another rider just didn’t do the jump and braked right in front of me. This put me on the ground again and meant I couldn’t really come back too much more. It isn’t good and it just didn’t work today. I feel great on the RM-Z250 and I feel there is much more to come; it was just one of those days. I’m positive that we will be up front tomorrow.”

Vaessen also feels that he didn’t show his true potential and that the motos tomorrow will go a lot better: “Overall it was a pretty frustrating day” said Vaessen, “I just couldn’t find good rhythm and didn’t feel comfortable out there. Riding in the qualification race went better but making passes is so difficult here so I just couldn’t come through the field. And then I crashed right at the end as I tried to make a pass so that dropped me down a bit to 22nd. Just frustrating really. However, I want to stay positive as my riding was getting better throughout the day, so hopefully that’ll continue for tomorrow.”
The good news for all four riders is that the important motos are on Sunday and while better gate picks are always good; at a track where holeshots have come from all over the starting gate, the finishing positions of the riders today shouldn’t cause too much concern. The speed is there and with good starts, another Suzuki one-two is still a good possibility.
MXGP Qualifying Times: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), 25:28.566; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:08.913; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:30.734; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:32.203; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:33.160; 6. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:33.650; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:48.072; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:04.199; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:05.731; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +1:06.436; 11. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:08.143; 12. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:09.302.

MX2 Qualifying Results: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 24:15.271; 2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:02.187; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:18.437; 4. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:20.602; 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:45.230; 6. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:49.583; 7. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:50.816; 8. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:54.086; 9. David Herbreteau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:56.841; 10. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:57.592; 11. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +0:59.494; 12. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:03.358; 13. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +1:03.864; 14. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), +1:06.634; 15. Anton Gole (SWE, Husqvarna), +1:16.781; 16. Henry Jacobi (GER, Husqvarna), +1:17.304; 17. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +1:19.031; 18. Lars van Berkel (NED, KTM), +1:23.588; 19. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA, Yamaha), +1:24.011; 20. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +1:27.922; 21. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +1:29.431; 22. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), +1:30.726.