Team Suzuki’s Kevin Strijbos would have been hoping for a better moto finish of fifth position – his highest classification yet from eight races – after the opening four rounds of the 2016 MXGP campaign.
Compared to his travails last year Strijbos is fully fit and hungry for results but has been working with the factory team to quell arm-pump problems and also cure a lack of competitiveness out of the gate.
This weekend in Mexico the 30-year-old Belgian will again be the sole representative on the works RM-Z450 with Ben Townley convalescing from the after-effects of a virus back in New Zealand.
It is little secret that Stefan Everts’ crew have been working around the clock to optimise the setting of the 2016 race bikes to give Strijbos and his team-mate (Townley taking Pole Position and second place in the second moto in Thailand) the ideal tools to seize Suzuki’s first set of silverware this season and since Everts took control last October.
With four of the first five rounds taking place outside of Europe – meaning that teams have to work with limited resources according to travel freight – Strijbos has already commented that tests tentatively planned after the fifth race of the year in Mexico could turn the season in the Lommel-based team’s favour.
Teams will have only one free weekend after competing in Leon and returning from the Americas before anticipating the Grand Prix of Latvia at Kegums.
Suzuki did not celebrate a Grand Prix win in 2015 despite 10 podium finishes gathered between Strijbos, who won motos in Italy and Clement Desalle. Strijbos himself is still searching for a first GP success since 2007.