Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Kevin Strijbos continued his and the team’s impressive podium-streak, taking victory in the opening moto at Czech Republic Grand Prix before finishing third in the second race.
It was enough for the Belgian to take second overall on his RM-Z450, as he finished just two points off the overall win, taking his seventh podium of the season.
He said, “I felt great in the first moto and had a good start. My pace was enough to do the job.
“I had a small dip half-way through the second moto and I saw [Jeremy] Van Horebeek pass [Tony] Cairoli and tried to do the same on the last lap and I almost got him. It was close.
“I had some good parts on the track but also some bad ones and I made a few mistakes that meant I had some cramps in my hamstrings. I tried all I could. I have to be happy with second place and being back on the podium for sure.”
Loket also marked the return of Clement Desalle after a horror crash on the start straight of the Swedish GP. Clearly struggling with the pain, made worse after a crash in qualification, he raced to seventh in the first moto.
However, after discussions with the team, the decision was made to withdraw from the remainder of the meeting, with his participation in the rest of the season looking doubtful. It effectively ends his challenge for this year’s MXGP championship, after missing the previous round dropped him down to third in the standings.
He said, “I need time off to get this wrist fixed. There are three main ways to let a scaphoid heal and I want to try to avoid an operation.
“It turns out I had a small fracture after the crash in Maggiora but it was not seen in the scans and I rode and won a week later in Germany! I had another check after Teutschenthal and that was when the damage was found and I could not believe it.
“I then had the big crash in Sweden. My wrist has been painful since Italy so I suspected something was wrong and it has stopped me riding and training how I want; I could feel that today in the first moto when my condition was not good enough.
“The solution now is to stop riding and get better. I don’t know how long it will take at the moment but I cannot imagine finishing the season. We’ll see.”