The continuing devastation of the MXGP class that has occurred throughout the 2015 season has claimed yet another victim. Suzuki's Kevin Strijbos had a heavy landing in the Saturday practice session in Mantova which clearly gave his right thumb a substantial wrench. It was bad enough for the vetertan rider to head to the local hospital the same evening, where a snapped ligament was diagnosed, effectively ending his season right there. He is undergoing surgery today.

With Clement Desalle already out with a shoulder injury, it's another blow for the Suzuki squad and also for the recently announced Belgian MXoN team that had Strijbos as a mainstay. With Ken De Dycker sidelined too, it's just Jeremy Van Horebeek and Julian Lieber that remain healthy and were selected again, and Strijbos' injury will mean that team manager Joel Smets - recently moved to KTM from Suzuki - will need to find a replacement pretty quick. Favourite would probably be Brent Van Doninck from the Kemea Yamaha team, who is currently 13th in the world championship or maybe Damon Graulus from the same awning. There's clear advantages to the two Kemea rides as it keeps the team to an all-Yamaha line-up like the US team, but if you were to look at results alone, then Honda rider Jens Getteman should be in consideration over Graulus, given his position ten points ahead of his fellow countryman.

Either way, with all three potential choices way-off the race winning potential of Kevin Strijbos and the fact that one of the MX2 riders will now have to upgrade to an unfamilar 450, Belgian chances have been dealt a heavy blow that will see them extremely lucky to be near the top five, and any dreams of another podium performance are all but gone. For a country with the third highest number of MXoN wins, it's a disaster.

Image: Suzuki


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