Strijbos wins Hawkstone MX
Team Suzuki's Kevin Strijbos won both MX1 motos at a soaking, windy and cold Hawkstone Park to give the Belgian-based team their first victory of the pre-season internationals and christen the 2007 RM-Z450 in the best way possible.
The 21-year-old Belgian followed World Championship rivals Josh Coppins and Ken de Dycker in the first moto around the chilly and blustery midlands venue before moving past both of his rivals to seal his maiden moto victory of the year.
Persistent rainfall meant that the Hawkstone sand became rough and boggy and provided a hard and physical test for the riders. Stijbos though coped with the conditions admirably and dealt lively Honda rider De Dycker a hard blow in the second moto when the 2006 MX1 World Championship sliced his countryman's lead and went on to score win number two to own the MX1 category on overall points.
Strijbos, who gave the RM-Z 450 its first Grand Prix win in the Czech Republic during the 2005 season, was looking for a hat-trick of triumphs in the Superfinal until a serious crash and injured rider coupled with a torrential shower forced the red-flags to prematurely close the British International that boasted an entry list with works riders from virtually every manufacturer.
"I felt good and it was a pretty easy win actually," Strijbos said.
"I was not too good off the start in the first race and I was third for quite a while but worked on catching the guys in front of me and things went to plan. In the second heat my start was better but the first few laps were shaky and I let Ken get away a little bit. When I started to find my rhythm again then my pace was better and it was quite straight forward for the win once I had the lead. The track was tough especially with some of the deep ruts. The bike worked well today. We made some changes last week and will also do some tests over the next two weeks until the first round of the Dutch Championship as well as the Belgian series."