Professional rider on closed course competition.


May 7, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – May 7, 2006.

Kevin Strijbos guided the RM-Z450 Suzuki to a second consecutive runner-up position this afternoon in front of 31,000 spectators at a hot and sunny Teutschenthal circuit for the Karcher Grand Prix of Germany.

The fourth round of 15 in the 2006 FIM World Championships saw a bustling MX1 field full of young riders produce a rapid set of motos. The wickedly-fast German terrain was hard and dusty after some excellent weather over the weekend.

Strijbos was quick off the line and his fifth position start in the first moto allowed him to follow eventual winner Stefan Everts on the first lap. The Belgian pressurised the World Champion and ran within a second of the Yamaha rider for the first half of the 35 minutes and two lap distance. Despite coming tantalisingly close on several occasions he wasn’t able to break Everts’ control. In the second sprint a slightly worse start meant that the 20 year old was continually following Ken De Dycker through the mid-top ten for most of the race. He passed his team-mate Steve Ramon for fourth spot four laps before the chequered flag and the 18 points scored was enough for another second position overall.

Ramon set off from his first pole position for the team in Moto1 but his hopes of victory were dashed with a crash on the first corner. The former World Champion had to restart and spent 16 of the 19 laps coming back to a worthy ninth spot. He fared better in the second race but a lack of strength in his left arm meant that his pace slowed and he slipped from third to fifth.

Strijbos has not finished outside of the top four from the last four motos and stands a career best third in the World Championship points table. Ramon is sixth.

The World Championship now pauses for a weekend before resuming with a long trip to Sugo and the Japanese Grand Prix on May 20th/ 21st.

Kevin Strijbos:

“The track was fast today but I had a good feeling on the bike. In the first heat I could push a lot and there was maybe two occasions when I could pass Everts but he was tough to overtake. I think I exerted myself too much in the first 15 minutes because I had to back off a little towards the end. In the second moto I had to pick another gate because Leok took mine. It was full of mud and I did not get a good jump. I was far back along the straight but could turn tight and gained a lot of positions by heading up the inside. After Ken passed me I started to find better lines and rhythm. It was just a shame that I could not catch him in the last couple of laps. However I am really pleased with the podium and I feel like I am getting better and more confident every week.”

Steve Ramon:

“After yesterday the races today were of course disappointing. In the first moto I went down on the first corner after Everts boxed me in slightly on the inside. He was ahead but came across me and I lost the front wheel. He was in front so there was nothing I could do. The rest of the race was pretty good because I pushed really hard to come to the front. In the second moto I had a better start but I had to slow down towards the end because I had hurt my arm from the earlier crash and didn’t have much strength. It was another bad weekend and I am not having much luck.”

MX1 Moto1: 1 Stefan Everts, (BEL) Yamaha 40:04.435, 2 Kevin Strijbos, (BEL) Suzuki 40:07.732, 3 Jonathan Barragan, (SPA) KTM 40:09.882, 4 Cedric Melotte, (BEL) Yamaha 40:12.700, 5 Ken De Dycker, (BEL) Honda 40:34.392, 6 Tanel Leok, (EST) Kawasaki 40:49.189, 7 Julien Bill, (SUI) Yamaha 40:59.115, 8 Pascal Leuret, (FRA) Honda 41:02.693, 9 Steve Ramon, (BEL) Suzuki 41:05.712, 10 Marvin Van Daele, (BEL) Honda 41:07.502.

MX1 Moto2: 1 Stefan Everts (BEL) Yamaha 40:35.718, 2 Tanel Leok (EST) Kawasaki 40:39.695, 3 Ken De Dycker (BEL) Honda 40:41.640, 4 Kevin Strijbos (BEL) Suzuki 40:42.383, 5 Steve Ramon (BEL) Suzuki 41:05.248, 6 Brian Jorgensen (DEN) Honda 41:14.780, 7 Pascal Leuret (FRA) Honda 41:38.802, 8 Julien Bill (SUI) Yamaha 41:43.322, 9 Javier Garcia Vico (SPA) Honda 41:46.820, 10 Manuel Priem (BEL) Yamaha 41:49.778.

MX1 Overall Classification: 1 Stefan Everts 50, 2 Kevin Strijbos 40, 3 Tanel Leok 37, 4 Ken De Dycker 36, 5 Steve Ramon 28, 6 Pascal Leuret 27, 7 Julien Bill 27, 8 Brian Jorgensen 25, 9 Jonathan Barragan 20, 10 Manuel Priem 19.

MX1 World Championship Standings (after 4 of 15 rounds): 1 Stefan Everts 192, 2 Tanel Leok 152, 3 Kevin Strijbos 138, 4 Ken De Dycker 133, 5 Jonathan Barragan 117, 6 Steve Ramon 111, 7 Sebastien Tortelli 99, 8 Pascal Leuret 93, 9 Cedric Melotte 84, 10 Manuel Priem 72.

For more stories about Steve Ramon, click here. For photos, click here.
For more stories about Kevin Strijbos, click here. For photos, click here.

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