Kevin Strijbos will line up in the start gate with the seventh pick of slots at Hyvinkää for the Grand Prix of Finland and the 13th round of 17 in the FIM Motocross World Championship tomorrow.
The Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP rider battled through the shallow and bump-ridden sand and dust outside of Helsinki in pleasant racing conditions for the Qualification Heat in the premier MXGP division. The Belgian is alone in the Rockstar camp this weekend after Clement Desalle was still in too much pain and discomfort to be able to steer his works RM-Z450 after his first corner crash in Sweden and round 12 last Sunday.
The narrow and short layout at Hyvinkää was almost unchanged from the inaugural visit by the FIM series 12 months previously. With European support classes filling the programme the terrain quickly became bumpy and rough with small and unsettling ripples in the terrain. A stony consistency and hard surface under the sand meant the course was slippery in places.
Strijbos adjusted his race set-up for the 20 minute and two-lap sprint today and felt that he took a wrong direction with the front forks and also modification for the rear shock. Temperatures are expected to climb for the two thirty 30 minute and two-lap motos tomorrow and while his seventh position is not a bad placement on the start line he has only the warm-up session tomorrow morning to make final adjustments.
“Not an easy day and I don't really know why. We changed some stuff with the front forks and the shock and then again for the race and I think we went the wrong way because I did not feel good out there and it was very difficult. I think I had two or three good laps and then my lap-times climbed. We will try and figure out something for tomorrow.”
MXGP Qualification Heat result:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 23:43.894;
2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:09.461;
3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:13.782;
4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +0:15.663;
5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:20.507;
6. Filip Bengtsson (SWE, KTM), +0:23.730;
7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP), +0:27.886;
8. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:28.907;
9. Nathan Watson (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:29.773;
10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:31.514;
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