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Rockstar Energy Suzuki Set For Dutch MXGP
Posted by: newsla on May 02, 2014 - 03:40 PM
Rockstar Energy Suzuki Set For Dutch MXGP

After a free weekend the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP and Europe MX2 teams return to FIM Motocross World Championship duty this weekend with round six of 18 taking place in the sand of Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands.


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Although the GP structures have been parked since the last FIM round in Bulgaria the riders and staff have kept busy.

Grand Prix of Trentino winner Clement Desalle took part in a local triathlon and followed his usual training programme while Kevin Strijbos was out at the track with a 1-1 winning performance in the hard sand of the Wuustwezel International in Belgium, beating a couple of MXGP rivals on the works RM-Z450; ideal preparation for Valkenswaard where the weather forecast predicts more decent weather for the weekend. “It was my local race so it was good to turn out and see everybody and I took it pretty easy,” Strijbos said. “Actually the track was quite hard! The dry weather meant you had to be careful.”

The last Grand Prix to venture into the sand saw Strijbos just one point away from victory at Lierop last September. The former double world championship runner-up has been carrying a sharp turn of pace after his champagne spray in Italy three weeks ago and has to be in contention for more silverware at the venue a short hop from Eindhoven and close to the Belgian border. “I’m feeling good and my riding and speed have been on a good path since Italy,” he said. “I was close to the top three again in Bulgaria; just missed the starts but my speed was right there. The sand is a good surface for me and Valkenswaard is a better track since it was swapped back to the old direction and layout.”

Valkenswaard is one of the regular sites for Grand Prix in Holland and the shallow sand has the tendency to mix compact and bumpy zones with deeper and more technical sections. It is also a course that has faced constant tinkering over the years in terms of the challenges it offers and the 2014 edition of the Dutch round could see yet more alterations for the MXGP and MX2 divisions that are also supported by the Women’s World Championship, EMX125 and EMX150 this weekend. “I’ve seen that they’ve put some waves and rollers in there and I’m not too sure about this latest modification because with many classes riding the track across the weekend it could get much heavier than it needs to be,” Strijbos opines.

Strijbos also gave his view on the recent news that saw at least three factory riders facing hefty injury problems due to collisions and accidents through using crowded circuits for training and practice, one of those being Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff.

“It is something we really need to look at,” he said. “It feels like many tracks have been closing in Belgium and now you get situations where the popular places are just so busy. The slower riders need to practice too and their presence is important for clubs and circuits to take income and remain open but the Pros need more choice and options to be able to train or test.

“I’m not sure what the best solution is but maybe there has to be a Pro hour or perhaps teams can reserve tracks for private use at times through the week,” he says. “Something has to be done though. I was injured pre-season at Lommel through the same type of accident; someone had crashed on the landing of a jump and I landed on top of them. The jumps at Lommel are pretty big and now I am a little apprehensive at taking them full-gas when the track is open for all. It is not ideal if we cannot ride our motos like we need to.”

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe were rocked last week by the training accident and knee injury to MX2 star Glenn Coldenhoff that will keep the rapid Dutchman on the sidelines for the majority of the season. Number ‘259’ underwent surgery late last week and is now into a three-month rehab period. The team went to the first round of the ADAC MX Masters German Championship at Drehna last week on a low but were reasonably encouraged by the performances of Jeremy Seewer and Julien Lieber on the works RM-Z250s as the youngsters captured third and fourth positions in the second moto; Seewer placing fourth in the final standing against a raft of 450 and 350cc machinery.

For Lieber in particular the second race in Germany was a bright spot for what has been a difficult season so far as he strives to rediscover form and confidence in the wake of the knee reconstruction that caused him to miss almost the entire 2013 campaign.

MXGP World Championship Standings (after 5 of 18 rounds):

1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 222 points;
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 194 p.;
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 194 p.;
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 180 p.;
5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 166 p.;
6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 145 p.;
7. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 107 p.;
8. Xavier Boog (FRA, HON), 96 p.;
9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 95 p.;
10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 95 p.;

MX2 World Championship Standings (after 5 of 18 rounds):

1. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 198 points;
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 194 p.;
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 176 p.;
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 158 p.;
5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 154 p.;
6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 147 p.;
7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 130 p.;
8. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 121 p.;
9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 107 p.;
10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 105 p.;
12. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 98 p.;
17. Julien Lieber (BEL, SUZ), 45 p.;

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