Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos will enter the start gate in 10th position for the Grand Prix of Argentina today after taking the same spot in the Qualification Heat race for the premier class on his RM-Z450 at Neuquen yesterday.
The Belgian suffered with his start for the 20 minute and two lap dash around the wide, flowing layout of volcanic earth terrain and pushed as hard as possible to breach the top-10.
Chilly temperatures greeted the first day of the fourth round of 18 in the 2016 series but the site close to Villa de Angostura and Bariloche still benefited from a big and eager crowd keen for their fill of MXGP action.
Strijbos was measuring his first visit to Neuquen and around a circuit quite unlike any other on the schedule. The veteran used the practice sessions to try and establish a feeling on the surface that was not quite as rough and technical as many of the Grand Prix riders were expecting; and a poor getaway in the race on Saturday afternoon largely dictated his placing.
“A hard day for Kevin and we’ll have a look at the set-up for tomorrow and maybe alter the engine character,” commented General Manager Stefan Everts. “We’ll also see what we can do with the holeshot device to help Kevin with the starts as these are hurting him at the moment.”
Ben Townley is not competing in Argentina due to the debilitating effects of a virus he contracted prior to the Grand Prix of Europe three weeks ago.
In the MX2 class Jeremy Seewer was third and then fourth quickest through the two practice sessions on his RM-Z250 and then after dealing with Samuele Bernadini in the qualification heat was able to get into the top-five and with decent options for the motos tomorrow where he will also be looking for a livelier launch from the line.
The MXGP motos start at 18.00 CET on Sunday.
“I came back the best I could from another bad start and it is something we will look at for tomorrow. It is not easy at the moment but we will take it and try to make the best of it. The track layout is cool here but the ground is hard to ride. It seems sandy but it actually hard underneath so it is easy to slide out or make a mistake.”
MXGP Qualification Heat: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 25:05.502; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:05.054; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:08.188; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:11.717; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:19.319; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:25.581; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:26.876; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:30.992; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:31.814; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:35.868.