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Mar 01, 2014 - 06:20 AM
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Strijbos & Rockstar Energy Suzuki On Pole!
Posted by: newsla on Mar 01, 2014 - 06:19 AM
Strijbos & Rockstar Energy Suzuki On Pole!

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos flew to a perfect Pole Position tonight at Losail for the Grand Prix of Qatar and the first round of 18 in the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship.


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The Belgian gunned his works RM-Z450 Suzuki to a first holeshot of the year and proceeded to escape ahead of the MXGP pack for the top-spot.

Losail ignited a far-more comprehensive lighting system for the spectacular motocross layout - a short distance from the MotoGP asphalt - compared to the initial 2013 inaugural opener. The illuminated track threw-up contrasting conditions with some slippery patches offset with traction and hard-pack terrain mixed with sharp-edged bumps.

The qualification heat began shortly before 23.00 local time and after two practice sessions; and in which Strijbos’ team-mate Clement Desalle clocked the fastest lap in the second chrono. While Strijbos showed the quickest route and was unchallenged for the 20 minute and two-lap distance, Desalle made a mistake out of the gate by changing gear too-early and losing momentum. But the Belgian recovered ground to eighth position by the chequered flag, despite being hit by an errant stone on his right arm.

The Suzuki crew is now well-positioned for Saturday evening’s two 30 minute and two-lap motos that begin at 20.10 and 23.10 locally (two hours behind CET).

Kevin Strijbos:

“I’m a bit surprised but the good start helped and I just rode my own lines and race. It is only my ninth day of the year on the bike after recovering from injury so I’m getting back into the rhythm. The track was good out there but I preferred the softer soil of last year. It was bumpier in 2013 and had more lines. I will try to do the same thing on Saturday.”

Clement Desalle:

“Setting the fastest lap-time in Timed Practice was OK but it did not mean so much as I prefer to make those in the race! My start was not good in the Heat Race but that was my fault. I shifted too early and lost drive. On the first lap a rock hit my bicep and I felt a lot of pain but I kept going and after a while was able to make some positions. I had a small crash at the end but overall it was OK. Better tomorrow…”

Qatar MXGP Qualifying Heat: 1. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 23:49.172; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.343; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:06.157; 4. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:06.257; 5. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +0:08.044; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:08.748; 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:09.270; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:17.343; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:23.960; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:30.413; 11. Joel Roelants (BEL, Honda), +0:31.974; 12. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +0:38.269; 13. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +0:43.708; 14. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:46.154; 15. Xavier Boog (FRA, Honda), +0:48.331; 16. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:49.472; 17. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +0:50.517; 18. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +0:52.555; 19. Augusts Justs (LAT, Husqvarna), +1:06.301; 20. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), +1:33.565; 21. Ross Ian Runnals (RSA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 22. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), -4 lap(s); 23. Jens Getteman (BEL, Honda), -6 lap(s); 24. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), -7 lap(s); 25. Amirezza Sabetifar (IRI, Yamaha), -12 lap(s).

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