Double World Championship runner-up Kevin Strijbos is keen for a better showing than the eighth position he scored at both the Qatar and Thai Grands Prix and the first two rounds of the ’16 MXGP campaign.
As the FIM Motocross World Championship gears up for the third meeting of the year, the first in Europe and the first of four in the sand this season with the Grand Prix of Europe at Valkenswaard on Easter Monday, Strijbos has been refining the set-up of his works Team Suzuki World MXGP RM-Z450 and is looking to free himself of the arm-pump that plagued his efforts to-date.
“The first grands prix did not go fantastically and we know we need to improve but I think we have made a step,” said the 30-year-old after extensive testing work since returning from Thailand over two weeks ago.
“The main thing was with the engine and the power delivery. I know I had the fork and the shock working well but we needed to get the whole combination better. I still think we can do more but it gives me a better feeling now for sure.”
The Belgian has been entirely positive about life under the Stefan Everts regime at Suzuki and since the 10-time world champ took over in November in a move that also saw Strijbos’ mentor – Joel Smets – edged out towards KTM, but #22 has yet to find the speed and form to match the performance that earned third place in the world in 2014 and claimed a chequered flag at the ’14 Motocross of Nations.
“I don’t want to say that ‘my season will start in Valkenswaard’ – I don’t think I need that kind of pressure to be immediately going for the podium and the team don’t expect it either,” he said. “But we have to do better than the first two rounds and then keep building from there.”