STRIJBOS BATTLES TO 11TH IN NORTH CAROLINA

2016-09-05 10:03
Team Suzuki World MXGP left the impressive Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday evening with Kevin Strijbos obtaining 11th in the overall MXGP standings for the Grand Prix of Americas. The first of a USA ‘double bill’ saw the FIM Motocross World Championship inaugurate a new build at one of the meccas for NASCAR and a spectacular course around The Dirt Track zone of the complex was home to 15,000 fans for what was the penultimate round of eighteen in the 2016 series. Arminas Jasikonis was forced out of action towards the end of the first moto with a twisted right ankle.

Charlotte entertained a somewhat unconventional fixture on the Grand Prix calendar with the vast speedway venue welcoming motocross for the first time and under lights for a Saturday evening race programme. The fixture got off to a wet start with the edge of Hurricane Hermine causing a full day of rain on Friday and forcing cancellation of practice and qualification for both MXGP and MX2 classes.

Due to the night scheduling there was ample time to run the sessions earlier on Saturday and with the track still boggy and difficult to judge Strijbos and Jasikonis ran to lap-times that allowed them to enter the start gate in 10th and 23rd positions. The track crew had worked comprehensively to drain and repair the clay-like soil and the racing surface was prime on Saturday and under blue skies and hot temperatures for the most part.

In the first moto Strijbos placed his RM-Z450 into 12th position and warded-off the presence and threat of Tony Cairoli in what was a race without much movement and the riders all circulating at similar lap-times. Jasikonis was running within the points until he caught his right foot with two laps before the end and the 18 year old was forced to retire. Jasikonis would attempt the second race but could barely operate the brake pedal or kickstart and ended his involvement in the early laps.

In the second race Strijbos couldn't forge a solid start and again found himself needing a rhythm in order to work through the ranking. The Belgian rode well and pushed-up from 17th to 10th. Strijbos sits 11th in the world championship standings and 11 points behind Shaun Simpson. Jasikonis – drafted into the team to replace the injured Ben Townley – is 25th having only made five appearances in yellow but is confirmed as a factory rider next to Strijbos for 2017.

Team Suzuki World MXGP now head directly west and to southern California where the Grand Prix of USA at Glen Helen will host the final meeting of the year.

Kevin Strijbos:

“I felt pretty good on that track today but I couldn't work out the start and the drop-off out of the gate. I was so fast that I was jumping the drop-off and just lost time compared to the other guys. That roost hurt like hell! My speed was good and especially the second moto where I was having fun on the track. I was riding smooth and it was a bit of a shame with the start; if I could have taken a top -six from the gate then I could have stayed at the front easily. Again not really the results I want but where I came from then it wasn’t too bad…you just don't really see that on the paper.”

MXGP Moto1: 1. Eli Tomac (USA, Kawasaki), 35:10.508; 2. Justin Barcia (USA, Yamaha), +0:22.813; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:24.273; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:25.080; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:27.325; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:29.443; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:30.239; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:31.620; 9. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:40.857; 10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:43.983; 11. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:55.212; 12. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:57.806; 22. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), -2 lap(s).

MXGP Moto2: 1. Eli Tomac (USA, Kawasaki), 35:21.042; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:05.984; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:08.704; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:11.509; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:12.470; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.778; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:24.690; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:33.097; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:47.876; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:52.519; 36. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), -19 lap(s).

MXGP Overall result: 1. Eli Tomac (USA, KAW), 50 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 40 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 36 p.; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 35 p.; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 30 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 28 p.; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 27 p.; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 27 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 23 p.; 10. Justin Barcia (USA, YAM), 22 p.; 11. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), 20 p.; 36. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), 0 p.

MXGP World Championship Standings (after 17 of 18 rounds): 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 693 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 603 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 565 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 549 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 522 p.; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 513 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 382 p.; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 372 p.; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 335 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 322 p.; 11. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), 311 p.; 18. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki World MXGP), 128 p.; 25. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), 47 p.

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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