Suzuki World MXGP Team has unveiled its full rider line-up and the 2017 RM-Z450WS machines its premier class riders will compete on.
Led by General Manager and 10 times World Champion Stefan Everts, the team is looking to bring success to the Suzuki brand in what is a concerted effort from Europe and Japan to support their assault on the World Motocross Championships.
He had this to say about the new bike and upcoming campaign: “I am very excited of course, it’s my second year with Suzuki and I am so happy and honoured to be able to present this new RM-Z450WS. It is a great bike, it looks fantastic and it is new motivation for everybody involved to take the brand back to the top step of motocross. Of course there is still a lot of work to do in the future for myself and the team but having this backup from Japan and this new bike is something great for everyone.”
Spearheading the team will be the experienced Kevin Strijbos who recently celebrated becoming a father for the first time, and he will be looking to back-up his Lommel victory from last year on this new RM-Z450WS.
I’m excited with the bike and looking forward to it, I had a good off-season staying in shape and although I had a bit of illness recently, I still feel good. Having a kid has certainly made things strange because I still want to ride, but it’s not the most important thing in the world to me now. Even if I have bad day, when I see my kid smile, it makes me feel better and I hope being relaxed will help take some pressure off and allow me to be more comfortable on the new bike.”
Australia’s Hunter Lawrence will step-up from the EMX250 class to MX2. Lawrence had an interesting first year in Europe, winning a couple of races before succumbing to a knee injury midway through the year. He’s hoping he can bounce back to his pre-injury form, on the RM-Z250.
The likeable Aussie had this to say on his switch to the Suzuki World MXGP team: “This year I’m trying not to put results into my head, we all want to win, that’s for sure, but I need to go in and do my best each race and the results will be what they are. I’m just trying to focus on making good progress throughout the year, learning racecraft, and getting as much experience under my belt as possible. I’m really looking forward to it though.”
Hunter’s younger brother, Jett, will also ride for the Suzuki World team but in the 85cc class.