There was not much of a break for the Rockstar Suzuki teams with Kevin Strijbos and new MXGP rider Glenn Coldenhoff, as the factory effort got right down to work for 2015 only a few days after the 68th Motocross of Nations.
The Belgian and Dutchman will be leading the ideas and efforts for the factory in preparation for the RM-Z450s and Japanese staff were already overlooking activities at Kegums; some having flown in directly from AMA supercross tests with Ken Roczen. Third MXGP Suzuki star, Clement Desalle, still has not recovered from wrist surgery.
“Testing will start right away and on Friday and Saturday after the Nations we are riding in France,” informed Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP Team Principal Sylvain Geboers. “The following week we will be in Lommel. We will ride with Kevin and Glenn. Clement should be ready for riding at the end of November or the beginning of December. He is on schedule. It is not the ideal scenario – to be testing so late – but we might already stay in a direction with him that we confirmed this year. He will have the chance to test some items and we will be ready to produce those components for the first GP.”
“The Japanese are here for the Nations so we are taking full advantage of their presence,” said Geboers by way of justification for the rapid testing schedule. Both athletes are currently tied to Suzuki and do not face the same contract complications with other riders changing teams. It means they can get on with the job right away.
According to the Belgian Strijbos will focus on overall set-up. This is less of a concern for Desalle. “Chassis work mainly for Kevin because Clement already decided that the 2015 chassis was better for him since round four in Italy this year,” he said. “Kevin was suffering with his arms at that time and we did not want to make it more complicated for him. Clement will work on the engine and a little bit of suspension.”
Coldenhoff makes the leap into MXGP for the first time so will start with the basic 2014 race machines “then we have different options for him to select,” affirms Geboers.
Lastly the team are deviating from their usual winter programme with a three week stint in California at the start of 2015. So far Desalle is committed and Strijbos could also follow across the Atlantic. Geboers: “At the beginning of January Clement will go to the U.S. for three or four weeks but Kevin has not decided yet. It is just about riding time. What can be done in the U.S. can also be done in Europe but the request was made by Clement and we will support him in that way. Of course it will be with the help of American Suzuki but we absolutely do not want to disturb them in their activity. They have a lot going on, especially as they are starting with Kenny.”