Courtesy of Suzuki Press Office
Kevin Strijbos – 14th MXGP
Jeremy Seewer – 3rd MX2
Hunter Lawrence – 5th MX2
Bas Vaessen – 24th MX2
The 2017 MXGP World Championships have finally got underway with
qualifying day at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. After
months of talk and speculation, the riders got down to business on this
tricky track and for the Suzuki World MXGP team, it was a mixed start
after such a promising pre-season.
The loss of Arminas Jasikonis to visa issues meant that Kevin Strijbos
was the sole representative in the MXGP class; and despite showing good
speed in Timed Practice with a second-place gate pick, a poor start
meant any chance of a good finish would be extremely difficult on what
is historically a very difficult track to pass on. However, the Belgian
kept charging throughout the entire moto, passing a lot of top-quality
riders to finish-up a respectable 14th. With a better start, there is
certainly no reason why he can’t battle at the front of field on what is
a totally new day of racing. “It was a good day with my speed, which I
was happy with. It was just my start, Toni (Cairoli) came a bit to my
side so I had to cut off the throttle and then I almost collided with
Glenn (Coldenhoff) after he messed-up in a mud puddle. I pushed until
the end of the moto and finished 14th but with the gate (the new
starting mesh) the position isn’t that important because everyone has
the same conditions so I should be fine for tomorrow,” commented the
In the MX2 race, Jeremy Seewer had a solid start to his 2017 campaign,
passing a few riders after a decent start to finish in third place.
“Jonass and Paturel were already a bit gone, I could close it a bit but I
didn’t find the lines I wanted to find, but the race is tomorrow and
we’re in a good position. There is nothing to win today, I just wanted
to build-up the confidence for tomorrow,” said the Swiss rider.
Just behind Seewer was rookie Hunter Lawrence who had a great first lap,
moving up from mid-pack into the top-10 with some nice moves. He then
settled in behind some more experienced riders before putting in another
couple of passes to score an impressive finishing position of fifth
place. He had this to say about the race: “I just put some laps in,
sitting behind Seewer, Prado and Bernardini, trying not to do anything
silly. Ended up fifth, which is great, so we’ll see how it goes
tomorrow, but I’m excited to have got the first gate drop out of the
way, especially under the lights of Qatar, which was pretty cool.”
Unfortunately, Bas Vaessen wasn’t able to quite match his team-mates
after a couple of crashes during the moto, but his one-lap speed was
there and he can head into tomorrow knowing a good jump out the gate
will put himself in with a good chance of some solid results. Although
he was a little disappointed, he commented: “I didn’t really feel too
comfortable, but my lap-times were good so I’m pumped on that. Now I
just have to improve the beginning of the race for tomorrow.”
Despite a surprising amount of rain these past two weeks in Qatar, the
forecast is meant to stay dry on Saturday, with hopefully a little less
wind, after what was a very blustery evening. The wind caused the track
staff some problems as it meant different parts were drying quicker than
others, with a few slick spots dotted between some muddier sections.
Overall though, the prep was very good and it should hold-up for
tomorrow in what will be a very exciting evening of action.
The warm-ups are due to begin at 2.30pm local time with the first MX2
moto gate drop at 5.05pm, and the four members of the Suzuki World MXGP
team are excited to step-it-up for the real gate drops tomorrow.
MXGP Qualification Heat Classification: 1. Tim Gajser
(SLO, Honda), 25:05.634; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:00.617; 3.
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:15.909; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS,
Honda), +0:17.398; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:20.023; 6.
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:21.556; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha),
+0:25.823; 8. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:28.921; 9. Clement Desalle
(BEL, Kawasaki), +0:30.262; 10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki),
+0:31.720; 11. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:33.763; 12. Jose
Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:43.231; 13. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM),
+0:49.634; 14. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:00.268;
15. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +1:02.273; 16. Jeffrey Herlings
(NED, KTM), +1:04.431; 17. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:06.396; 18.
Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), +1:07.144; 19. Rui Goncalves (POR,
Husqvarna), +1:12.236; 20. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +1:12.521; 21.
Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:24.123.
MX2 Qualification Heat Classification: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 25:28.950; 2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.319; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +0:04.215; 4. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:15.022; 5. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +0:16.129;
6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:19.109; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN,
Husqvarna), +0:21.208; 8. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:26.088; 9.
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:26.566; 10. Brent Van doninck
(BEL, Yamaha), +0:29.571; 11. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki),
+0:29.936; 12. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:33.200; 13. Alvin
Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:36.539; 14. Anton Gole (SWE, Husqvarna),
+0:42.787; 15. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:50.636; 16. Stephen Rubini
(FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.844; 17. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +0:56.180;
18. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), +0:59.030; 19. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki),
+1:02.091; 20. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, Husqvarna), +1:05.763; 21.
Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +1:06.769; 22. Jay Wilson (AUS, Yamaha),
+1:08.474; 23. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:09.740; 24. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), +1:21.736;
25. Ivan Petrov (BUL, Husqvarna), +1:29.326; 26. Caleb Ward (AUS,
Husqvarna), +1:31.781; 27. Magne Klingsheim (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:52.174;
28. Chihiro Notsuka (JPN, Honda), +1:54.114; 29. Brian Bogers (NED,
KTM), -13 lap(s); 30. Maykal Grisha Ivanov (BUL, Honda), -13 lap(s).
Was this post helpful? Add yours to our service or subscribe to our feed above.