Team Suzuki Press Office – February 25.

Jeremy Seewer – (12-5) for 6th
Hunter Lawrence – (18-6) for 11th
Bas Vaessen – (14-17) for 17th

Suzuki World MX2 rider Jeremy Seewer started off his hunt for the MX2 World Championship with a sixth overall at the opening round under the floodlights at Losail International Circuit in Qatar today and his 12-5 moto scores were extremely hard fought, having to battle throughout both motos for every single point on a track that proved difficult to pass on.

Unfortunately, a couple of bad starts really hindered his chance to get involved with any battles for the lead so he had just settle for trying to accumulate as many points as he could, in what we will be a long championship. The RM-Z250 rider had this to say about his evening: “It’s not what we wanted to do today of course, but I’m happy to be in one piece. It’s a long season so all is not lost but I’m really disappointed. First moto I had a bad start and I crashed in a slippery spot on the first lap, my fault, and then I just couldn’t make it happen to make it through the pack. I have to say, it is very difficult here to come back from a mistake, it’s mainly one line. The second moto I lost the distance to the top few guys with my bad start but once I was through, I could go their same speed. I think the speed is there, we just have to improve a few things to get up there.”

For Hunter Lawrence, expectations are different but a solid showing in pre-season has raised his profile and he showed everyone once again that his rookie campaign won’t just be learning the tracks, as he put down laptimes that should see him up at the very top of the field before very long. Unfortunately, a couple of mistakes in the first moto dropped him down the proceedings but in the second moto he followed Seewer through the pack, learning every lap and finishing a very impressive sixth place. “First moto I was feeling good. I didn’t get the best start, top 15-20 something like that and I was coming through the pack pretty good and I was happy with how I was going. Then I made a mistake on my part with another rider, a rookie mistake. Got back up, finished 18th which isn’t the best but this is the world championship and it’s not going to be easy. I came back in, put it behind myself and looked forward to going out there and doing it again. Second race I got a better start, around 12-13, made some passes and found myself inside the top 10, coming through to finishing sixth behind Jeremy. It felt like we had a good rhythm going as a Suzuki train, so that was pretty cool. Really though, I’m just happy to have got it out of the way, the first round can have a lot of carnage so I’m happy to be walking away with no injuries and to have made good progress,” said the Australian youngster about his debut in the MX2 class.

After a tough qualifying race yesterday, Bas Vaessen had to start in one of the outside gates for both motos but despite this handicap, he still shot out of the blocks in the first race. He didn’t get the same start in the second race but still showed flashes of speed that should stand him in good stead for the year. He said: “I felt more comfortable today than yesterday, night and day difference. I had the 24th gate pick but came out in seventh place. I had an amazing start, not sure how, but I stayed in sixth for 25 minutes. However, then I started to ride too tight and defend too much and then a couple of guys passed me which was a shame because I had the speed. The second moto I came out 22nd or 23rd but I was feeling good, I was passing a lot of guys and moved into 16th but when I tried to make the pass into 15th I crashed and dropped back to 20th. I ended up finishing 17th but my riding was ok, I had good speed, speed for the top 10 I think. I just need to keep improving and while my results might not show it, I improved a lot this weekend and if I can keep it steady this season will go well.”

While it may not have been up to their pre-season form, the team all came through the races unscathed and the team know the points they have to improve. General Manager Stefan Everts broke down what he thought about the three riders’ performances: “For Jeremy, he’s still not racing to his potential 100%. He rode better in the second moto but not such a great start and still struggling to get through to the front. I really hope and believe that he can win that first GP because that will be a big relief for him. Hunter had that small crash in the first moto and couldn’t start his bike immediately which was a pity, but in the second moto he showed some really good riding skill, his laptimes were good, right there with Jeremy and he showed good things this weekend which are very promising for the future. Bas had a really tough time yesterday but had a very good first moto up until halfway when he dropped back a bit. Unfortunately, he had a bad start in the second race and then seemed to struggle with the track. However there still is a lot of potential and a long way to go in the season.”

The team now head to Indonesia, to a track where very little is actually known about it. Weather is showing rain and rumours are that it might be a bit sandy so it’ll be interesting to see what transpires next weekend. However, the Suzuki World MX2 riders all make the trip fit and healthy and looking to build upon this opening round of the 2017 MX2 World Championship.

MX2 Moto 1: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:24.348; 2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.759; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:20.039; 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:23.565; 5. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:32.017; 6. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:37.177; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:45.685; 8. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:47.621; 9. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:51.025; 10. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:52.396; 11. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:54.145; 12. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +0:54.519; 13. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:56.640; 14. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), +0:57.297; 15. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +1:02.353; 16. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +1:03.865; 17. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +1:05.222; 18. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +1:06.300.

MX2 Moto 2: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:32.077; 2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.015; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:03.245; 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:07.884; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +0:12.395; 6. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +0:19.322; 7. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:26.397; 8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:33.930; 9. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:34.083; 10. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:35.200; 11. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:45.131; 12. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +1:01.812; 13. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +1:03.579; 14. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:04.793; 15. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +1:05.737; 16. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +1:07.276; 17. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), +1:11.625.

MX2 Overall/ Points Standings: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 50 points; 2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 44 p.; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 36 p.; 5. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 28 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), 25 p.; 7. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 24 p.; 8. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 24 p.; 9. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 20 p.; 10. Alvin Östlund (SWE, YAM), 19 p.; 11. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), 18 p.; 12. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 18 p.; 13. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 17 p.; 14. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 16 p.; 15. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 14 p.; 16. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 13 p.; 17. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), 11 p.

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