TOUGH OUTING FOR STRIJBOS AT LEON MXGP

160418_14

The Grand Prix of Mexico presented a tough outing for Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos as the Belgian rued some poor starts at Leon and the fifth round of 18 in the 2016 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship to end the day with 10th position overall and moto results of 7-11 in hot and demanding conditions at the Guanajuato venue.

MXGP rolled north from Argentina and through the Americas this weekend to reach Leon and the third running of the Mexican Grand Prix within the flat Parque Metropolitano layout located close to the city centre that brought in 33,000 fans (weekend figure).

Team Suzuki World MXGP again relied on single rider representation with Ben Townley recuperating from illness back in Europe and Strijbos still feeling his way up-to-speed and with the best race setting on the RM-Z450 in the young 2016 campaign so far.

Hotter and sunnier compared to the penultimate round of the 2015 series – and when MXGP last visited Leon – the track bore the brunt of pre-race preparation, watering and then the summer climate to shift into a rough and extremely rutted hard-pack that took its toll on the riders; physically and mentally. The altitude of the region also meant set-up changes in terms of engine configuration and riders searching for the best compromise in search of traction.

Strijbos, setting off from seventh in the gate, made a poor start to the opening moto and was deep in the second half of the pack in the dash to the first turn. He consolidated a rhythm and pace in the opening laps just outside the top-10 and then pushed up strongly in final five laps to grab seventh place. The second moto held a similar story and the Belgian actually suffered a crash on the second turn which meant he had to work from the back of the field and persevere to reach 11th.

“I’m not sure what more we could do because we practiced starts and worked hard on them but Kevin clutched-it-out of the gate in the first moto and again in the second and was just fighting back from that point,” evaluated General Manager Stefan Everts. “He went down on the second corner and wasn’t riding that well. The charge in the first moto was good and he gave what he had but overall it’s disappointing and we know we have more work ahead.”

But, after five events, Strijbos has accumulated enough points to move-up to seventh in the standings.

Team Suzuki World MXGP hope to welcome Townley back to active duty in the next week and ahead of the Grand Prix of Latvia on May 1st that will be round six of the season and followed immediately by visits to Teutschenthal in Germany and Arco di Trento in Italy.

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