(PresseBox) (Bensheim, )The Grand Prix of Great Britain at the acclaimed circuit of Matterley Basin in southern England and close to the ancient capital of Winchester is the site for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP to charge into their next racing appointment this weekend.
Round seven of 18 in the 2015 MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship will see Clement Desalle steering his works RM-Z450 around the vast Matterley 'bowl' in search of his first overall victory this season and after having won two of the last four motos at the venue. The Belgian will be tackling the latest episode of MXGP - a term in which he has accumulated five podium finishes and is second in the standings - alone in the team awning as Kevin Strijbos has been forced to miss the trip to the UK due to a painful right thumb that is inhibiting his potential on the works machine.
Desalle, who turned 26 years of age earlier this week, is ready to shoot for more silverware in the premier class and has a decent record of speed at the English site that has been the home of the British Grand Prix every year since 2011. He walked the second step of the podium last summer and has taken a chequered flag at the flowing and open layout for the last two seasons.
"It's been a pretty good break and I celebrated my birthday actually so it was a nice change to see and spend some decent time with friends," he said. "Matterley is coming and I've had some wins there in the last few years and enjoy the track. It can feel quite different depending on the preparation and the weather so I will be interested to see what we can find this time. I feel good; I'm ready to get back on the podium and lift my level again. I have won before in England so no reason not to try and do it again."
2014 Motocross of Nations race winner Kevin Strijbos has frustratingly been ruled out of the British Grand Prix. The Belgian is having trouble with his right thumb and could not comfortably complete meetings in Holland and Belgium over the last week - in a bid to get more race mileage under his belt - due to pain in his hand. The 28 year old has no option but to rest the joint and review the state of his health with a view towards round eight in France next week.
"I'm trying to keep positive and talked with the team; we saw little point in riding through pain and possibly taking more risks," the luckless '#22' said. "This could be something caused by over-compensating with my wrist in the last few weeks but I have tried two injections now and they have not worked. So I will not ride for the rest of this week and see if some rest will solve the problem. I'll try the bike over the weekend and get an idea if we can think about France."
Third RM-Z450 runner Glenn Coldenhoff is happy to be close to full fitness again after his Qualification Heat accident in Spain two weeks ago that left him with a sore left hand. The Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe rider rested his limb for a week and then after positive medical checks was able to resume riding in the build up to Matterley Basin. The '#259' will be making his first appearance at the British round since toasting his maiden Grand Prix success there in 2013. Coldenhoff sprayed winner's champagne for the first time in the MX2 class two years ago but missed the 2014 edition of the race at Matterley due to a knee injury that wrecked his final term in the small category.
"I went to the hospital on Monday for a check and everything has healed up OK," he said. "I rode on Tuesday and I did my laps without a problem so all is good. I will get out on the bike one more time before Matterley. For sure I have good memories of the place and this will be the first time I have been back since my win as I was injured last season, so I'm looking forward to it. It is a nice track with some big jumps and more line choices than many other places. I think there will be some great racing."
Team-mate - but on the factory RM-Z250 in MX2 - Jeremy Seewer has contrasting recollections of Matterley Basin. The young Swiss will be hoping for some of the speed and fortune of his outing in 2013 when he took the second victory of a strong EMX250 championship run. He might want to forget some of his ill luck of a first MX2 GP last year when the then-19 year old arrived in the UK suffering from a cold and crashed hard during Saturday qualification. Nursing a sore wrist and stiff shoulder he managed a 13-9 scorecard however. Seewer has spent some time at his home in Switzerland over the last week and is now ready to set a new benchmark for his MX2 track record at Matterley.
"It has been good to spend a bit of time in Switzerland and just focus on riding and preparation for these two GPs ahead," he explained. "I like Matterley Basin because it is a good mix between being a natural track with the lay of the land but also some serious jumps! Also the ground is quite special as well as the grassy setting."
EMX250 is also in action once more with the fourth round of nine bringing Brian Hsu and Bas Vaessen into play with their RM-Z250s and both riders aiming towards their maiden podium finishes in the class in what are their first attempts at the MX2 feeder series.
The weather forecast for the weekend is positive and predicts bright and sunny conditions.
MXGP World Championship standings (after 6 of 18 rounds): 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 259 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 247 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 229 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 208 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 196 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 171 p.; 7. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 124 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 114 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 104 p.; 10. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KAW), 95 p.; 11. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 94 p.; 12. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 84 p.; 13. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 78 p.
MX2 World Championship standings (after 6 of 18 rounds): 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 261 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 205 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 177 p.; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 169 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 169 p.; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 162 p.; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 153 p.; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 151 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 149 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 123 p.
EMX250 Championship standings (after 3 of 9 rounds): 1. Nick Kouwenberg (NED, HON), 117 points; 2. Maxime Desprey (FRA, KAW), 112 p.; 3. Adam Sterry (GBR, KTM), 108 p.; 4. Damon Graulus (BEL, YAM), 105 p.; 5. Alvin Östlund (SWE, YAM), 91 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, KTM), 80 p.; 7. Ander Valentin (ESP, YAM), 70 p.; 8. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), 62 p.; 9. Simone Zecchina (ITA, KAW), 60 p.; 10. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA, KAW), 55 p.; 11. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 47 p.; 12. Ken Bengtsson (SWE, KTM), 42 p.; 13. Brian Hsu (GER, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 42 p.; 14. David Herbreteau (FRA, KAW), 36 p.; 15. Steven Clarke (GBR, HUS), 33 p.; 16. Bas Vaessen (NED, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 32 p.
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