Strijbos breaks into the top fifteen of MXGP at Kegums
After the gnarly MXGP of Belgium the MXGP World Championship headed to Latvia which presented another challenge for the riders. The track at Kegums which is sandy on top but with a hard base presented another tricky track for the riders.
After a day to forget at his home Grand Prix at Lommel, Kevin Strijbos was much improved at Kegums. In the first moto he had a disastrous start outside the top twenty-five but he made lots of passes and had a good flow around the fast track. The experienced Belgian was able to finish fourteenth which was a good recovery ride. In race two, Strijbos didn't ride with the same tempo but was still able to charge through to sixteenth position after another bad start. 14-16 was enough for fifteenth overall which is a step in the right direction after Lommel.
The results for Calvin Vlaanderen do not reflect the speed he had on his Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha. In the first moto he was riding in the top ten before a rider crashed in front of him and he had nowhere to go. With the bike damaged he had no other option that to pull out of the race. In the second moto, things were looking great for Vlaanderen as he was in a super impressive fifth until after the half-way mark and looking very comfortable. Unfortunately, a crash demoted him down the order and he ended up eleventh but it was a day that he had good speed once again.
With his broken rib, Brent van Doninck hasn't been able to put the laps in at the practice track which is never ideal. Despite his rib feeling better he was quite rusty. However, points in both moto's were secured finishing 15-19 and with time off before Turkey he'll hope to show his real level there.
"The day didn’t start good actually with a twenty-fourth in timed practice. I didn't find good speed so I was quite far for the gate which meant my start was bad because I was on the outside. I worked my way back up again to fourteenth which was quite good, I showed some good speed. The second moto it started to rain, I didn't get a good start and didn't find a good rhythm. I was struggling with the goggles so I dropped a few places but in the last ten minutes I was going in a good way again so I got back to sixteenth. It isn't great but it is what it is and we'll take the positives. We are moving into the break now so we will reset everything to be ready for Turkey."
"It was not my best day today. I must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed or something but I just didn’t feel good out there the whole day. In practice I struggled, I could put a lap in for ninth but I had some more in me. I then went down during my fast lap and hit my head a little bit. In the first race I got a good start but got passed in the first few laps, after that I started to find my flow and then Olsen crashed in front of me and I had nowhere to go. I went down pretty hard but tried to ride after that. The bike was too bent up and I wasn't feeling great so I decided to pull in and focus on race two. In the second moto I had another good start and was battling up front a little bit, I settled into fifth position and was riding a good race until I made a stupid mistake by myself and went down hard again. I managed to ride it out to bring home an eleventh after that so it was not my day today. I feel sore after the three crashes so I will rest up now and then put in hard work before Turkey."
"It was a disappointing day. My ribs were feeling better but I just couldn't find a good flow. I haven't been able to train on the bike for three weeks, Lommel was the only day I rode in three weeks. On the 450cc it's important to ride the bike 2-3 times a week because you lose the flow quick on the 450cc, that's what I feel. I am looking forward to the three weeks off so I can train more and ride the bike more again. In the second moto I had to pull off my goggles so I couldn't get close to the guys in front of me so I had to back off a little bit. I'm not too happy but hopefully I am feeling better again for Turkey."
Photo credit: Bavo