A Visa issue has forced Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis to miss the opening round of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship at Losail in Qatar this weekend, the team confirmed today.

It means Jasikonis’ pristine 2018 RM-Z450WS will lay dormant until the series moves on to round two in Indonesia on March 5.

“AJ is back on a plane to Europe because he didn’t have the right visa,” said general manager, Stefan Everts, in a press release. “It’s a very bad break for him, after having a good pre-season and we were really looking forward to having him on the start line on the new RM-Z450WS. It is a big disappointment, especially for himself, but also for the whole team and Suzuki, to not see him here after all the work we’ve put in. This is how it is and we have to accept it, we should have taken care better on the visa issue and we will learn from this. I want to apologise to all our sponsors, partners and fans, and especially to Suzuki that he won’t be on the start line.”


It’s not the first time in recent memory that a MXGP factory team and rider have fallen foul of travel visa requirements. Back in May 2014, HRC factory rider Evgeny Bobryshev missed the MXGP of Great Britain after he was unable to secure the necessary paperwork to gain entry into the UK. And fellow Russians Alex Tonkov and Vsevolod Brylyakov have suffered similarly.