STRIJBOS SHOWS PODIUM FORM AT EURO MXGP

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Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos displayed impressive speed in practice and qualification today at Valkenswaard, Holland for the Grand Prix of Europe and the third round of 18 in the 2016 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship.

The Belgian set the fastest lap in Timed Practice and then led seven of 12 laps in the Qualification Heat before a small mistake dropped him to seventh position in the gate for the two motos on Easter Monday.

The Eurocircuit south of Eindhoven was lashed by gusts of wind, changeable skies, periods of sunshine and also rain showers. Heavy downpours through the night and Sunday morning left the dark shallow sand damp and slick. The final throes of winter delivered a chilly opening to the first round of MXGP on European shores.

Feeling the cold harder than most was Ben Townley. The New Zealander struggled throughout the day as the after-effects of a virus left the former winner of this Grand Prix without any energy. ‘BT’ managed to endure the 30-minute and two-lap heat race and circulated to 21st position.

Strijbos, in contrast, was flying: The 30 year old used a race set-up on his RM-Z450 that he had perfected through tests and teamwork in the two-weeks building up to the Grand Prix. He was half-a-second quicker than Tim Gajser in the Timed Practice that allowed him to be first to the line for the Heat. Strijbos slotted into a position behind Max Nagl on the first lap but soon closed-up and passed the German to lead and build an advantage of almost five seconds.

Deep into the race, Strijbos started to experience arm-pump problems and was then fighting the bike and losing control. When the back end stepped-out briefly heading into a small waves section #‘22’ did not have the strength to save the bike and he hit the sand. By the time Strijbos restarted, he was sixth and lost one more place before the chequered flag. Despite the outcome of the race, Strijbos’ pace gave good cause for optimism for Monday.

In the MX2 class, Jeremy Seewer was unlucky to fall on the start straight mere seconds into the race. Remounting his RM-Z250 the Swiss pushed hard through the pack for a decent 13th place. Also rallying on the quarter-litre machine was Bas Vaessen who reached as high as third position in the very first EMX250 European Championship outing, but then slipped off twice and stalled the bike resulting in 14th.

Kevin Strijbos:

“We actually had quite a good day. Practice and Timed Practice went well and I didn’t have to take many risks to make provisional Pole. I was happy and looking forward to the race. Max had a great start but we were right there. He was riding quickly but his speed was not unbeatable. I made my move and had some decent laps but then I started to feel my arms going and I knew it was over. I tried to relax over some jumps and it wasn’t too bad but then I made a stupid mistake and my back wheel slipped and put me off the other side. I had a lot of difficulty picking the bike up and at that point my arms felt so hard and big I couldn’t even pull in the clutch. It was a big struggle after that. The positives were that my speed was good and if I can take a similar start tomorrow, then I hope I can be in the lead and make a gap. I think we are looking good for the race.”

Ben Townley:

“I got ill at the start of the week and I had to take a lot of medication to get better. I feel absolutely ‘zumped.’ I don’t have any energy and do not feel good at all. I wasn’t actually going to ride today. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”

MXGP Qualification Heat results:
1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), 24:56.988; 2. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:07.932; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:09.667; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:11.580; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:12.967; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:15.594; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:20.399; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:23.972; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:37.081; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:37.329; 11. Filip Bengtsson (SWE, Suzuki), +0:44.244; 12. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:45.019; 13. Tanel Leok (EST, KTM), +0:46.527; 14. Jake Nicholls (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:58.113; 15. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:03.643; 16. Elliott Banks-Browne (GBR, Yamaha), +1:04.892; 17. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +1:18.423; 18. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:22.044; 19. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:27.084; 20. Harri Kullas (EST, KTM), +1:28.190; 21. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:29.405.

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情報提供元 [ Suzuki racing ]

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