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It’s been a whirlwind February for the #suzuki World MXGP team, with the launch of the new #rmz450ws at the beginning of the month at the headquarters in Lommel, Belgium and then ending it here in #qatar at the first round of the 2017 World Championships.
In between were trips to Hawkstone Park in England and Lacapelle in France and while things have been hectic, positive steps have been taken throughout this period.
Kevin Strijbos put in good times in practice and timed practice and showed speed all throughout the weekend, he just wasn’t able to do it at the front of the field after bad starts dashed any hopes for a top-five position. His 11-12 results were only good enough for 11th overall and although he obviously wanted to be higher, the fact that the tricky #qatar track was so difficult to pass on meant that higher finishes just weren’t realistic unless you got good starts.
The Belgian rider had this to say about his two races: “First race I got a good start but ran wide and Anstie also ran wide and went off the track. I just about saved it but lost a lot of positions. My riding though, I just couldn’t push, I didn’t have any energy or anything. I don’t know what was wrong. It was better in the second #moto as again I got a good jump off the metal mesh but then they moved past me when we got on the soil and I couldn’t make it up. It’s something we have to work on but overall I felt way better than the first #moto, I felt strong, I felt good, but it’s so difficult to pass, I think I spent the whole race behind Jeffrey Herlings. He’s a smart rider and knows how to protect his lines but I tried and the team could see I tried. The result is not great but we are going to stay positive and keep the positive things in mind for next week and we shall see what happens in Indonesia.”
With Arminas Jasikonis missing the round after visa issues, it was a difficult beginning for the team after such a promising couple of International races. Everyone is realistic though and knows that better things are just around the corner from both Kevin and Arminas, and that with a bit more luck off the start, the results could have been much improved. General Manager Stefan Everts gave his verdict on the #event: “It wasn’t a great weekend for us in the MXGP class. Kevin did great yesterday with his speed in qualifying and he looked a different guy. Today though he struggled with his starts, which weren’t helped by his gate pick and then he couldn’t make the passes. Nobody could really make passes, there was just one fast line but that’s the way #racing goes and for us a lot was decided on the start line. However, Kevin said the bike is running good and he’s happy with it and that’s important with this new #rmz450ws.”
After packing-up all the bikes and equipment, the squad head to Pengkal Pinang, Indonesia where they will be joined by a highly-motivated AJ for what will hopefully be a circuit where both riders can better showcase their skills.
MXGP #moto 1: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:02.202; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:08.904; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:12.554; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:22.042; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:23.434; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:26.076; 7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:29.380; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:33.072; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:34.933; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:39.219; 11. #kevinstrijbos (BEL, #suzuki World MXGP), +0:40.572.
MXGP #moto 2: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:00.353; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:04.918; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.375; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:25.782; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:30.096; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:31.689; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:33.559; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:47.517; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:49.816; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:57.389; 11. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:59.949; 12. #kevinstrijbos (BEL, #suzuki World MXGP), +1:00.742.
MXGP Overall/ Points Standings: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 42 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 32 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 31 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 31 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 31 p.; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 24 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 19 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 19 p.; 11. #kevinstrijbos (BEL, #suzuki World MXGP), 19 p.
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