No one said it’s easy making your way to the top. Some days things fall in place as if by magic, other days seem as if they were sent for no other reason than to make life tough. Yet grind it out you must, eye fixed on the goal. Kevin Strijbos’ outing at the second GP of 2012 was no walk in the park for the Belgian. The track at Sevlievo, spectacular, technical, slippery, treacherous, at times dangerous, is not one of his favourites , yet the conditions are the same for everyone, so he was determined to make the most of his outing.
The Belgian struggled to find his rhythm properly on a soggy qualifying day, finally securing 17th gate pick. He started his first race off just inside the top 20, and never looked in danger of falling out of the points scoring zone. This was not the objective, however. His goal was on getting to a top 10 position or as close to it as possible. He rode steadily, and was actually gifted two positions when Jonathan Barragan and Sebastien Pourcel interlocked elbows as if they were about to waltz down the aisle, sending both of them sprawling. With oodles of experience, Kevin knows that this track is not one to leave mistakes unpunished, and he rode within his limits to clinch 12th spot.
The HM plant KTM rider had a steep ladder to climb in the second race, after a start that left him in the dark depths of the pack. He edged ever forward, and, as expected, the unforgiving track and tough conditions started claiming some victims as the race wore on. Consistency and steady riding were qualities that were rewarded, and Kevin managed to claw his way back to 10th spot before the flagman called an end to a tough day of racing.
A 20 point haul on the day was not ideal, but still enough to keep the Belgian firmly inside the top 10 in the world championship standings. He has now scored points in every heat of the championship and deservedly holds firm in sixth position. With the Bulgarian GP done and (literally) dusted, Kevin is already focused on the next battle at the Italian GP next weekend.