Team #suzuki Press Office – May 7.
A breezy and sunny Grand Prix of #germany got underway at the Talkessel circuit in Teutschenthal today and Team #suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos and Ben Townley placed eighth and 17th respectively in the 20 minute and two-lap Qualification Heat.
The narrow and undulating hard-pack layout benefitted from some careful preparation that caused the ground to carve into long and deep ruts through many of the turns. The technical nature of the course was high and tempered the speed at what is normally a fast and flowing racetrack. There was a choice of lines and options for the riders at the historic venue close to the city of Halle but the afternoon race was also affected by dust due to the sunny climate.
Strijbos posted the seventh and fifth fastest laps in Free Practice and then Timed Practice whereas Townley improved from 12th place in the morning to ninth in the gate for the Heat. Strijbos made a promising launch on his RM-Z450 and was top-five on the first lap but lost some positions early and then circulated behind an ailing Max Nagl to take a solid if unspectacular eighth. Townley was faring better and was holding fifth spot until lap eight of 15 when an error and subsequent problem with the front end of his bike relegated the luckless New Zealander to 17th.
In the MX2 class Jeremy Seewer was fastest in both practice periods for his best Saturday performance of the season to-date. The Swiss suffered with his start in the race and had to push hard to get up to second place but the RM-Z250 rider looks in strong form to continue his podium run tomorrow.
“It was difficult today. The track was quite wet in first practice but they had ripped it deep. I had a good start and was up to fifth on the hill but lost some time by taking the inside, which was busier and slower. I ended up following Max but when I needed a bit more speed I made some mistakes and just settled for eighth towards the end. I’m not so happy with the result but I felt good and am happy for the races. The track is technical and I had to get used to it in practice. We made a step today and I’m pleased about that.”
“I made a mistake and got the throttle tube caught in my pants and couldn't move. The whole front end was severely twisted and every time I went into a corner I thought I was going to crash. Before that I was alright…but I’m not content. I don't feel like I was myself on the bike yet. It is incredibly slow out there and the way they prepared it is extremely technical and it’s tough. I have a bad gate pick now and it is going to be hard. I will have to get my reactions sorted.”
MXGP Qualification Heat: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 24:17.557; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:00.626; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:17.907; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:21.180; 5. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:27.790; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:30.688; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:32.933; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, #suzuki World MXGP), +0:34.956; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:42.396; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:50.269. 17. Ben Townley (NZL, #suzuki World MXGP), +1:23.091.