In the FIM Motocross World Championship, Husqvarna has announced Thomas Kjer Olsen will join the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team in the MXGP class for 2021 and 2022. The Dane will point out of the MX2 class following the completion of the 2020 season (where he currently sits seventh in the points standings through eight rounds) and will fill the team’s second spot alongside of Arminas Jasikonis. TKO finished third in points in the 2017 and 2018 MX2 standings before finishing in the runner up position to champion Jorge Prado in 2019.
Olsen’s 2019 season was impacted by injuries and his 2020 season started off in similar fashion as a hand injury hindered his results in the first few rounds of the championship.
“I’m really happy to continue with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, to be staying with the Husqvarna family and moving to the MXGP class with IceOne Racing,” Kjer Olsen said in a team statement. “I really admire the team, I know they do a great job and I believe that it’s the best team in the MXGP class. I’ve been with Husqvarna for my whole MX2 career and we’ve shared a lot of success and I have a lot to be thankful for. But I’m excited about this new chapter of my career and to be moving to MXGP. I’ve tried the IceOne FC 450 bike and it’s unbelievable. So light and powerful and as I’m a bigger guy I think it’ll really suit to my riding style. The MXGP class is so competitive and an exciting prospect. It’s full of established racers, many that have moved up from MX2 in recent years. I hope to quickly find my feet and settle into the class. I’m really looking forward to it all. For now, I am fully focused on the MX2 World Championship. We still have a lot of races to go and then I can look forward to moving over to the new team and begin testing with the FC 450 over the winter months. I’m really excited for 2021 and racing in the MXGP class.”
“Of course, we have been following Thomas since he joined the Husqvarna brand in 2017 and we know that he will be a great fit for our team, alongside Arminas Jasikonis,” said Antti Pyrhönen, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team manager. “It’s a nice and natural progression to move from the Husqvarna MX2 team into MXGP with us. Thomas is hugely professional, his approach to racing and his results speak for themselves—placing top three in the MX2 World Championship over the last three seasons says a lot about his ability and focus. He is clearly fit, fast and strong and will ride the FC 450 to its full capacity. We have the 2020 season to complete but we are already looking forward to a great 2021 with our young team line-up.”
Jasikonis, who signed a deal in August 2019 to remain on the team through 2020, was re-signed in about two months ago. His new deal with the team will see him on a Rockstar Energy Husqvarna FC 450 for the third consecutive year, through the 2021 season. Recently, he took a moto win in the second moto at the MXGP of Riga (Latvia). The Lithuanian sits seventh in the MXGP standings through round eight.
“Knowing that I will compete for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team again, for a third season, is a really great feeling,” Jasikonis said in a team statement. “I’m very happy to continue on a great bike. I have so much confidence in my bike, the whole program and all members of the team, which is so important. The fact that everything will stay the same for me from this year to next year is a huge thing—I only need to focus on improving and preparing myself. Of course, we have to continue working hard but I am really motivated to get the results that Husqvarna, Rockstar, Antti and the team deserve.”
Pauls Jonass, currently the team’s other rider in the MXGP class, is currently sidelined with injuries suffered in a practice crash at the end of June. His expected return to racing has yet to be announced. In October 2018, Jonass signed a deal to move from the Red Bull KTM team to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team for two years, running through the current 2020 season. He has yet to announce any possible opportunities in the future.
TKO and Jasikonis will lineup in their respective classes at the next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, the MXGP of Lombardia (Italy) on September 27.
Main Image: Thomas Kjer Olsen, photo courtesy of Husqvarna Images/Juan Pablo Acevedo