Arminas Jasikonis was undoubtedly the star of the show at the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, round three of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, as he set some of the fastest times in the premier division and proved what he can really do with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. Where did that speed come from? Jasikonis reflects on the event in this MX Vice interview.
MX Vice: You are fast in the sand. We knew that, but I feel like you have reminded a lot of people. You didn't get a podium though, which was on the cards. You were definitely fast enough. I don't know how you look at it? It was your best result of the season by far and the speed was amazing, but you didn't get on the podium. Happy? Disappointed?
Arminas Jasikonis: I would say it's been a really great weekend. Tied on the points for third, thirty-six from third to fifth, and it's good. Of course, after race you are a little bit frustrated that you are not on that box, but in the end it was my fault. I could do a better job in first moto and getting better places, but still we take it what we got. In the end, two times four in world championship, with all the best riders, is good. We are there. We have been all the races there. You can see that all winter work, it was there. I'm quite happy.
Of course, I was super fast this weekend. I could see that I was super fast, but just some spots where I couldn't put it together that would make big difference. Still, I had to come from quite far behind… From fifteenth place from the starts. The starts were like 50/60. They were not good at all. We are working on them. Second start I dropped down throttle a little bit too early. If I would have kept it, I would have been there in top five. No problem. We are learning it. It's still beginning of season. We're there. It's good.
Starts aren’t that much of a problem, because you can get good starts. You did it last week in the second moto. It's not like starts are an issue. Like you say, it's just a bit luck of the draw.
Yeah, of course. I'm a tall guy, but still I have a great bike and everything. It's just putting everything together. We work a lot in the weeks, but it's just maybe a little bit also mentally. It's good. It makes me even stronger once I'm started out with starts, then it would be so much easier for me. Right now I'm doing a hell of a job. It's tough to come from fifteenth to fourth. Not many people can do that.
One thing that was kind of consistent in all of your races this weekend was that you took a little while to get going. Your speed in the second half of the race was unreal, but in the first four to five laps you didn't really make progress. Any reason for that? Did it just take you a while to get comfortable?
Yeah. At the moment I'm a little bit taking too long, sorting out myself and a little bit waiting too long and in the end there is a little bit too big gaps and then I have to really quite push. This is another thing: Starts and a little bit beginning first laps, that's what we need to sort it out and, boom, we are there. It's like it is. Still my fitness is good, so I keep in the end. In the end I still made quite a big difference in the moto.
You mentioned that there were some spots out there where you couldn't put it together. What were the parts of the track that you struggled on? On the other hand, what parts of the track did you feel ridiculously fast on?
I would say from first to third sector was fast. I was really getting them. Then the fourth sector I always was not fast enough. Also in timed practice, everywhere I was just not good enough. Those technical points like downhill and everywhere I was much faster, but only all the guys made difference on the last sector. That's where I couldn't put it really together.
What about the track this weekend? We know you are good in the sand. This wasn't as sandy as it normally is. It was quite hard and fast, so were you surprised you were so good? I feel like you would have been even better had it been a bit deeper, like we have seen in previous years.
It depends. Of course as right now I would say my fitness is quite alright. I think the deeper it would be the better it would be for me, but still last week there was race in England and I had a good start. I was there. I think it wasn't so hard either this week, but it was harder than the years before. Still in the end it was quite a rough track. For everyone it was quite a tough race.
You must just be stoked overall. 6-6-4 through the first three races. If I told you in November that you'd have that, you probably would have bit my hand off and asked what can you pay to get those results.
Yeah, of course. I was dreaming about that, going consistent and consistent. We have been working hard all winter, so that's what is paying off. Pre-season was bad, but that's what made me good lessons and that's how we made quite fresh start. Of course, in preparation you were always questioning yourself about whether you will be good enough or not. Right now I'm proving to myself that I can be there.
Everything is going well at the moment. What is one thing that you feel like you need to work on with the team? Something with your set-up or even your fitness that you just feel like you need to fix moving forward?
Of course there's always something you can do better. Of course I'm not so experienced guy also. It's my third year in the GPs. Also last year was not great for me. I was never on top there, but this year I'm showing even much better results than when I was with Suzuki. We work hard and then I prove that I can be there. Of course working on starts and just those first laps. I think that is the main thing what we have to work on.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX