Kevin Strijbos reflects on his Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha debut

At the end of last year, Kevin Strijbos faced an uncertain future in the sport but the experienced MXGP rider secured a deal with the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing team for the 2021 season.

Strijbos hadn’t raced since the MXGP of Valkenswaard last year but he made his debut with his new team competing the Crisolles International race in France at the weekend.  It went very well as he showed the pace to run right at the front. He was arguably the fastest rider on the day and with many GP riders in action it was a very encouraging debut.

“It was a good day, it was my first race since Valkenswaard last year. Everything went fine, I had a good practice going pole. In the first moto I got the holeshot and was leading most the moto until lappers became a big issue, I had a problem with one of them, he didn’t move over and that’s why Jeremy (Seewer) got past. He went on the outside and I was behind the lapper in a rut but it’s also a bit my own fault, maybe I should have took another line but you have a decision to make in that moment. Anyway, I tried to get back into the lead again by passing Seewer but it didn’t happen, I was on his rear wheel at the end of the moto”, Strijbos told 

Pic: Eric Laurijssen

Strijbos is happy with the way he’s been working with the team but knows there’s still some engine work to do on the bike. Once that is done Strijbos will hope to run at the front of the MXGP World Championship. There’s so many top riders, it’s not going to be easy but it would nice to see the Belgian run at the sharp end after a few tough years battling injuries.

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“I was quite happy with how it went, I got a bit of arm pump at the end of that moto. The start of the second moto wasn’t that great, I was around thirteenth or fourteenth but worked my way up pretty easy until sixth or so. I had to find other lines then as I was getting closer to the front guys, I had to search but as soon as I found better lines I passed them – I passed some good guys in the space of two or three laps. It was good, I had a good feeling with second overall so it’s a good start for myself as well as the team, we worked quite hard and are still working hard on the engine. I think it can only get better for the future, it’s not 100% yet, we still need to work but before Russia hopefully we can get close to 100%. Everybody is happy with how the bike is so I am looking forward to going to Russia. I still feel like I am a racer and am excited for the season to start, let’s see how it goes and maybe I will race Ernee the week before Russia – I still have to see but the plan is maybe to do one more pre-season race to see how it goes”, concluded Strijbos. 

Article: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Eric Laurijssen