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Team Suzuki – Sixth Place

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Team Suzuki and Jeremy Seewer took the overall MX2 class victory at the brand new SMX Riders and Manufacturers Cup at the Veltins Arena in Schalke Germany on Saturday evening.

The unique event, organised by MXGP, was a mixture of Supercross and Motocross with the best riders in the world all together in one race. Each Manufacturer had to select three riders and one ‘joker’ to represent their brand. Team Suzuki World MXGP Manager Stefan Everts selected American Jake Weimer on the RM-Z450, the Swiss Seewer on the RM-Z250 and Lithuanian Arminas Jasikonis also on the RM-Z450 (no joker was selected).

All riders lined-up at the start gate for three SMX races, their gate position decided by the Superpole. Each team had to select one rider who had to try and set a fast time out on the track and for Suzuki, Weimer was selected and had the hard task of going out first, and after all other five riders set their time, Suzuki secured sixth, 12th and 18th gate positions.

Instead of the usual 35-minute plus two lap GP format, each race was a short sprint of 16 laps around the sandy Super Motocross circuit.

The first race proved to be a challenge for all three riders: Jasikonis was held up by a crash between Jeffrey Herlings and Romain Febvre on the first lap after the first corner. In his first indoor race, it was a new experience for the tall Lithuanian on a much tighter and smaller track than he is used to and Jasikonis crossed the finish jump in 12th position behind team mate Weimer. Seewer was unfortunate after hitting the back wheel of Jorge Prado Garcia and losing a lot of ground in the first laps and riding a 250 against the bigger and stronger 450’s made it difficult for him and he finished 17th.

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In the second SMX race, Weimer stalled his bike on the start gate and had to fight his way through the pack from last place, but the experienced Supercross rider made his way up to 12th position behind team mate Seewer. The Swiss had a much better start in race two, having the best start position of the three Suzuki’s and really showed he can be up there with the 450s in the first half of the race. He fell back slowly, but still held a strong 11th position at the flag. Jasikonis was struggling with his starts the whole day and the second race was the same although after getting to know the circuit better he finished 13th.

Limited traction and sandy bumps made the last race of the evening a challenging one for everyone. Weimer got more used to the sandy track in the third race and finished ninth for 10th place overall in the MXGP class. Seewer, well ahead of the other MX2 riders, finished 12th to give him the MX2 overall win. Jasikonis was unfortunate to crash and came home in 15th and finishing 13th overall.

Jeremy Seewer: “It was something new for all of us, a special track, riding in an arena and it was the first time for me. But it was alright. We had to change some things on my bike for the set-up because we’ve never done this type of race before. I had a bad start in the first moto and a crash, which was not my fault. Second moto, I had a really good start, fighting up front but with 250 it was really tough. In the third moto I had to start from the outside but managed it pretty well, had one sketchy moment and finished pretty well. We won the overall in MX2 and I’m happy about this. It was a fun event, something else.”

Jake Weimer: “An interesting day for sure. I started off the day with a rock in the face in practice and a pretty big gash on my forehead. But overall through the day working with the team and making some adjustments, it seemed to improve every time I got out on the track. Results-wise nothing crazy but it was a tough race. I was hoping it was going to be a little more ‘Supercrossy’ but the track was really rough and sandy so I had some obstacles to overcome but it seems like every time I went out I was better. I had a good time, hoped to have some better results, but gave it my all and it was nice to hang out here with the guys from Team Suzuki in Europe.”

Arminas Jasikonis: “It’s been a first time for me racing in an arena and with such big riders but I had some fun riding. Starts were as always bad, we must admit, and we must really change it in my head. But it has been good, in the third moto I crashed but had some good rhythm and I think it could have been better. I’m happy to walk away in one piece, because of the track, one mistake and it could end not so good.”

Stefan Everts – Team Manager: “I’m happy my riders are all healthy. It was a very interesting race, tough to get a good result and the competition was high. But overall a good thing to learn from. We struggled with our starts and this is something we will really work on for the future.”

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