Team Suzuki Press Office – September 9.
Kevin Strijbos – 5th MXGP
Jeremy Seewer – 4th MX2
Hunter Lawrence –11th MX2
All three Suzuki World riders put themselves in good positions for tomorrow’s motos with Kevin Strijbos, Jeremy Seewer and Hunter Lawrence going fifth, fourth and 11th in their respective classes. After two days of solid rain, the MXGP of the Netherlands track at Assen was extremely wet in some places, but surprisingly dry in others. This gave all of the riders a really tough challenge, however the Suzuki riders acquitted themselves admirably and head into the races on Sunday with a good chance of challenging for the podium positions.
“The timed practice didn’t go so well as I think I was 25th gate pick”, said Strijbos. “We changed something on the bike and it didn’t really work, so we changed it back for the race. Because of the bad gate pick I was quite far on the outside but I got a good start on the RM-Z450WS. I was probably seventh after the first couple of corners and if I had been a bit more forceful I could have probably been third. I was feeling good though, riding well and I had some good lines. I made a couple of mistakes but I think everyone did, so I just tried not to take too much of a risk and keep it on two wheels for tomorrow. It should be better racing if the track dries out a bit and I’m looking forward to it.”
For Seewer, he wasn’t quite able to challenge the top three, but the gate pick isn’t too important in Assen and if he can get another good start, he will definitely do better in tomorrow’s motos. “I had a pretty decent start in the qualification race. I went to the middle and came out around third place. I lost three spots quickly in the next couple of corners as the other riders were quite aggressive. Unfortunately, the rear brake was fading quite a bit so I struggled with that, but we’re going to make sure that is all fixed up for tomorrow. Fourth position is ok though and although it’s not my favourite track, I feel like I got a lot better throughout the day.”
After last weekend’s second place overall, Lawrence was hoping for a little more but the Australian always raises his game for the main motos and 11th gate pick shouldn’t hold him back too much: “It was an ok qualification race for me. We thought there was a bit of harder ground where I started on the outside, but it wasn’t too much harder. The first couple of laps were carnage as they flattened the whole track, but then it got so rutted and deep so quickly. I wasn’t feeling the best, I didn’t have any rhythm out there, so I’m going to regroup and make sure I come out firing tomorrow.”
Unfortunately, Arminas Jasikonis (hip) and Bas Vaessen (collarbone) are both injured and aren’t able to compete at a track that both of them would’ve been looking forward to. In their place though, Strijbos, Seewer and Lawrence are excited for the races at an Assen track which will hopefully be a lot drier than today.
MXGP Qualifying Results: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 23:49.015; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:18.550; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:21.696; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:23.957; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:26.247; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:33.587; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:35.585; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:36.304; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:40.188; 10. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:53.744.
MX2 Qualifying Results: 1. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 25:22.519; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:03.320; 3. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:06.858; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +0:12.819; 5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:25.660; 6. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:26.215; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:32.771; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:33.524; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:10.478; 10. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), +0:35.641; 11. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +0:40.426.