Strijbos ties for Italian MX1 podium

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 has completed the 2011 FIM Motocross World Championship with Kevin Strijbos scoring fourth position overall at a hot Fermo for the Grand Prix of Italy and the 15th and final round of the series.

The Belgian used his RM-Z450 to tie on points for the last step of the podium and was disappointed to miss out with a decent tally of third-and-fourth places through two steamy motos.

The steep Italian hillside at Fermo, set in the shallow dips of the scenic landscape close to the Adriatic Sea, provided a slick, hard-pack and rutted track. The high temperatures and many jumps of the course meant a hard day's work for the riders at this last appointment on the 2011 schedule.

Some 18,000 spectators found a slot on the slopes and watched as Strijbos set a mean pace after bright starts on the factory RM-Z450 in both 35 minute and 2-lap outings. The former double Championship runner-up with Suzuki was quick but just not quick enough to trouble Xavier Boog in the first moto and Jonathan Barragan in the second and was bumped to fourth only because of his second-race ranking. The result still represented his best since joining the factory team for the last four rounds of the Championship.

Cody Cooper pushed valiantly through the haze, dust and up the hills and grabbed his first Grand Prix points with 16th and 19th for 20th overall.

After an eventful season for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1, Clement Desalle has finished third in the MX1 standings although the Belgian missed the final three rounds through a shoulder injury. Steve Ramon is 14th but is still recovering from his injury sustained at round 11 in Lommel. Kevin Strijbos ends a year on the RM-Z450 with 10th and will now represent his country at St Jean D'Angely for the Motocross of Nations next week.

Kevin Strijbos:

"I rode well today but I'm feeling a bit down about missing out on the podium. I had a good jump out of the gate in the first race but I was dragged outside a little bit. Anyway I made my way to third and at one point I was pushing to catch Boog for second but then backed off a little bit because I was feeling a little tired. I'm not sure what happened at the start of the second; I think I had some wheelspin, but I rode the whole moto believing I had third place so it was disappointing to not make the podium."

Cody Cooper:

"As I said last week it was a tricky decision to come and do these Grands Prix because I knew I wasn't in the best shape; but now I go home with some good endurance under my belt that's for sure. I had a good start in the second moto because the bike has good power and it was awesome out of the gate. I had some fatigue from the previous race but I did my best. I'm real thankful to the team for the experience of coming here and I'm glad I did it."

Moto1: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), 39:24.930; 2. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:11.779; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:19.334; 4. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:36.361; 5. Anthony Boissiere (FRA, Yamaha), +0:45.590; 6. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:48.323; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:48.634; 8. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:56.812; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:57.141; 10. Gregory Aranda (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:19.363. 16. Cody Cooper (NZL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), -1 lap(s).

Moto2: 1. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 39:31.286; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:14.080; 3. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:32.179; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:37.472; 5. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.398; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +1:10.394; 7. Anthony Boissiere (FRA, Yamaha), +1:22.599; 8. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:38.375; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Honda), +1:44.436; 10. Marcus Schiffer (GER, Suzuki), -1 lap(s). 19. Cody Cooper (NZL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), -1 lap(s).

MX1 Overall result: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), 47 points; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 38 p.; 3. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), 38 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 38 p.; 5. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 38 p.; 6. Anthony Boissiere (FRA, Yamaha), 30 p.; 7. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Kawasaki), 28 p.; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 27 p.; 9. Marcus Schiffer (GER, Suzuki), 20 p.; 10. Manuel Monni (ITA, Honda), 20 p. 20. Cody Cooper (NZL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 7 p.

Final MX1 World Championship standings: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 596 points; 2. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 472 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 461 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 444 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 439 p.; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 431 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 347 p.; 8. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), 326 p.; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 308 p.; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 295 p. 14. Steve Ramon (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 229 p.

ZECCHINA TAKES TWO-STROKE TITLE:

Italian Simone Zecchina finally placed both hands - the left one containing a broken finger - on the European 125cc two-stroke championship 'EM-X125' at his home event at Fermo last weekend. The 17 year old guided his RM125 to fifth position in the first moto on Saturday, which was enough to guarantee the title ahead of Tom Gajser.

Zecchina, who made three grand prix appearances on the factory-backed RM-Z250 for Suzuki Europe MX2 as a substitute for Valentin Teillet, won three motos from 12 and finished in the top three nine times in what was the second year of the series being run alongside the FIM Motocross World Championship. At Fermo he was third overall. Swiss Jeremy Seewer was third in the final standings of the competition.

Simone Zecchina:

"I was a bit worried about my broken finger and how I would be able to ride here but of course I am really happy to take the title and now think about this season. It has been good in many ways and now I am ready for the next step."

Final European 125cc two-stroke championship standings: 1. Simone Zecchina (ITA, Suzuki), 250 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, KTM), 226 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), 207 p.; 4. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, KTM), 185 p.; 5. Damon Graulus (BEL, KTM), 170 p.; 6. James Dunn (GBR, KTM), 152 p.; 7. Brent Van Doninck (BEL, KTM), 152 p.; 8. Luca Moroni (ITA, KTM), 128 p.; 9. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), 95 p.; 10. Dave Versluis (NED, KTM), 93 p.