Kevin Strijbos proved that there is plenty of speed and life left yet in the super-fit 29 year old’s limbs with victory in the second moto at last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Maggiora.
The veteran, who finished third in the 2014 MXGP series and won a moto at the ’14 Motocross of Nations, has been in a difficult situation this year with wrist and thumb injuries limiting him to just four Grand Prix appearances from the nine held so far.
Strijbos stated that his return to the paddock in Maggiora was in the interests of “practice” as he strives to come back to full race speed but the Belgian found himself in the position of leading the works Rockstar Energy Suzuki team when Clement Desalle withdrew from the meeting on Saturday and will also sit out the German GP this weekend.
When asked if this predicament increased any pressure on the former double world championship runner-up’s shoulders Strijbos said: “Not for me. I was trying to do my own thing and my own race without worrying too much about other riders. I wanted to do good for the team for sure…and it was important to do that.”
Strijbos admitted that he was lucky that the torrential rain on Sunday morning turned the Maggiora mud into a slower and more technical prospect but his result and subsequent podium finish was the tonic for the Suzuki crew who have seen yet another title bid by Desalle lost to injury.
The race came at a valuable time for Kevin who is expected to stay in yellow and with Sylvain Geboers’ outfit for 2016 but the team’s objectives for next season also depend on whether Desalle stays for a sixth year on the RM-Z450 or heads to Monster Energy Kawasaki.