Thirty two thousand spectators surrounded the rough and unforgiving hard-pack of Talkessel in Teutschenthal for the Grand Prix of Germany and Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos rode his works RM-Z450 to third position – and his second podium finish in a row - for what was the 10th round of 18 in MXGP 2015 as Glen Coldenhoff secured 10th place overall.
Slightly warmer temperatures and a calmer breeze meant a more ‘summery’ climate for racing on Sunday compared to Saturday and although the home crowd were disappointed to see local favourite and MXGP series leader Max Nagl forced out through a Qualification Heat ankle injury there was still plenty of action in the two principal classes to digest.
Strijbos rolled to the line in ninth position after his efforts on Saturday were limited by a so-so getaway from the gate. The 29 year old then set off and quickly moved into the top six whereupon he concentrated on riding his lines and being smooth to eventually demote Dean Ferris and finish in fifth for the first moto. The haul of sixteen points was a platform on which to build.
At the start of the second moto Kevin was around tenth going up the first steep hill. From eighth spot he chipped away at the distances and riders around him and through using some inventive lines began to make progress. It was tight tussle for the final podium steps behind Romain Febvre and Gautier Paulin with Jeremy Van Horebeek and Evgeny Bobryshev also on the same points tally. Eventually it was Kevin’s third position in the race that made the difference and ensured another rostrum appearance in the space of seven days and after his return to the Winner’s Circle in Italy last weekend.
A crash early in the MXGP Qualification Heat meant that Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Glenn Coldenhoff placed his RM-Z450 sixteenth into the gate. The Dutchman had a lonely first moto adrift of Christophe Charlier in eighth place but far enough ahead of David Philippaerts not to have to worry about the Italian. Glenn tweaked his left knee during the race and was happy that a medical check in the break showed no significant damage. In the second outing he moved into twelfth position once David Philippaerts pulled out with a technical problem and finished the moto there for the final slot in the top ten for the weekend.
Strijbos has compiled decent points since his return from wrist and thumb problems last week at the Grand Prix of Italy and is starting to work his way up the MXGP championship standings. He now occupies twelfth while Coldenhoff sits in tenth. Clement Desalle was forced to sit out the Grand Prix due to the ligament injury in his left knee that requires time away from the bike. The Belgian will review his recovery process in the coming weeks to determine an end to the recovery period. ‘25’ is sixth in the MXGP table and 78 points adrift of the red plate.
The Grand Prix of Sweden will be the next encounter for the Rockstar Energy Suzuki crews and will take place on the first weekend of July at the traditional venue of Uddevalla. Kevin Strijbos:
“I didn't know I was on the podium because I hardly looked at the pitboard in the second race. I was having a good fight with Dean and he was quite hard to pass. We went back and forth and it was quite hard but I’m happy. In the first race I got a bit tight after fifteen minutes and had to back off but third in the second moto was good. I think there is still more to come from my condition and fitness. Before Italy I had only been on the bike twice and didn't have much riding time. We will keep on riding. I have no pressure from the team and will keep trying to give my best, get in the top five and go for the podium.”
“Tenth overall is not so bad. In the first moto I got quite a good start and felt good but on the first lap I twisted my knee and it felt painful and it was like that still in the second moto. With a worse start it was hard to come back. Luckily I’m going home quite safe and we’ll be fine. Quite an average GP for results with a ninth and twelfth…we are looking for some more. My knee should be fine. We had a check and it might be just a stretched ligament. We’ll have some rest and then try the German Championship round next week.”
MXGP Moto1: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), 34:29.682; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:02.281; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:03.695; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:06.644; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:27.931; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:41.944; 7. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:44.673; 8. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Honda), +0:49.991; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +1:01.136; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:07.095;
MXGP Moto2: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), 34:30.088; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:03.370; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:04.946; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:06.570; 5. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:07.448; 6. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:10.122; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:11.056; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:11.282; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:22.463; 10. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Honda), +0:25.321; 11. Steven Frossard (FRA, KTM), +0:36.711; 12. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:40.072.
MXGP Overall result: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 47 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 45 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 36 p.; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 36 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 36 p.; 6. Dean Ferris (AUS, HUS), 30 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Christophe Charlier (FRA, HON), 24 p.; 9. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 22 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 21 p.
MXGP World Championship Standings (after 10 of 18 rounds): 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 369 points; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 360 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 352 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 324 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 306 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 291 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 227 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 194 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 192 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 169 p.; 11. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 155 p.; 12. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 151 p