Team Suzuki Press Office – March 4.

Kevin Strijbos – 5th MXGP
Arminas Jasikonis – 6th MXGP
Jeremy Seewer – 2nd MX2
Hunter Lawrence – 14th MX2
Bas Vaessen – 15th MX2

After consistent rain for the past few weeks, bikes took to the track in Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia today for the second round of the 2017 FIM World Motocross Championships, but it quickly transpired that conditions wouldn’t be good enough for them to run the full schedule and instead the FIM decided that the first free practice would be used to decide the starting grid for tomorrow’s racing.

Of course, making a decision like this meant that riders who didn’t try to put in fast laps during this free practice suffered and will have bad gate picks on Sunday, but thankfully the World Suzuki MXGP and MX2 riders all got decent times and will have a good chance at some good results in what should be a battle of survival in these extremely muddy conditions. Work will obviously take place overnight on the track but with it raining daily, there isn’t too much they can do to improve the circuit, in what will be a real challenge for all the riders. All five of the Suzuki squad are still positive though and raring to go racing.

“I was fifth, I rode easy and tried not make mistakes and came up fifth. We shall see what they decide about tomorrow and if they do both motos or just one moto. Hopefully the rain can stay away and if it does, they can fix the track and I think it can be pretty decent,” said Kevin Strijbos.

MXGP team-mate Arminas Jasikonis was just happy to start his 2017 MXGP season and didn’t really seem to mind the mud: “I didn’t crash and I made the most laps out of everyone. It was quite deep but it was fun to ride. I’ve missed my race bike a little bit so was happy to do the laps. Last lap I tried to do a fast lap at the end and got sixth place for tomorrow so my mood is good and I’m looking forward for tomorrow.”

Jeremy Seewer also got in a good lap, ending up with second gate pick for the MX2 races tomorrow. He had this to say about his practice: “I kind of realised that this could happen [using the practice session time as gate pick] so I went out on the track at the beginning and tried to make a good lap before the track got really bad. Tomorrow will probably be the same conditions so we will just do the best we can and hopefully will be ok.”

Hunter Lawrence didn’t really push too much in the session, preferring just to learn the track and as a result, will go into tomorrow’s racing with 14th gate pick. “I was just getting used to the track, warming up, finding my rhythm and then I was told that they could take my lap time. It’s unfortunate but with the racing I’ll just go out and try to circulate without crashing, that’s the big key. It’ll be interesting for sure.”

Bas Vaessen also didn’t get the pick he would have liked but doesn’t feel that’s too important for the races: “I’m just going to try and stay on two wheels, that’s the main point. If you can stay on two wheels and finish you will get a high position near the end so that’s the main goal.”

It is a shame that the schedule has been cut short as a lot of work has taken place at the facility to put on the event and make it rideable, but this decision will hopefully give them the best chance at a full programme for tomorrow where all five of the World Suzuki MXGP team will hope to score big points in the muddy conditions.

MXGP Qualifying Times: 1. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 2:39.774; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:01.115; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:02.326; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:03.956; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:04.134; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:04.490; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:04.702; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +0:05.304; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:05.494; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:05.906.

MX2 Qualifying Times: 1. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 2:16.331; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +0:04.786; 3. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:06.233; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:06.304; 5. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:06.755; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:06.838; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:08.767; 8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:11.425; 9. Freek van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:12.311; 10. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, Husqvarna), +0:14.325; 11. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:14.659; 12. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:14.933; 13. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:19.100; 14. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +0:19.844; 15. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), +0:21.708.

Indonesia MXGP Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Indonesia MX2 Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

For more stories about Kevin Strijbos, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Jeremy Seewer, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Bas Vaessen, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Arminas Jasikonis, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Hunter Lawrence , Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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