Team Suzuki rider Kevin Strijbos returns to the scene of his 2004 Motocross of Nations success this weekend as the 16th and penultimate round of the 2005 FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship takes place at Lierop for the Grand Prix of Netherlands.
The longest season ever is drawing to a close and the two remaining events taking place within a three week period represent final opportunities to grab precious Championship points.
Strijbos will be expecting a decent result in the deep Lierop sand, famous for lending an advantage to 'local' Dutch and Benelux riders, and wanting to forget the disappointment of his 11th position taken last week on the Isle of Wight.
The 20 year old helped his country sample glory for the 14th time at the prestigious Motocross of Nations meeting last year by climbing the top of the podium in his first appearance for Team Belgium.
Strijbos, who will line-up with Steve Ramon - the current KTM rider has taken two podiums in the last two races - as part of the works Suzuki effort in 2006. He currently lies 18th in the standings but is within touch of a top 15 finish if he can score well in Holland and then a fortnight later at Desertmartin.
The GP of Czech Republic winner was training in the sand at Lommel on Wednesday.
Joel Smets is still in hospital after complicated surgery on his left knee last weekend. The former five-time World Champion is expected to return home by the end of the week.
The Lierop circuit, with its flat but very technical course, is renowned for staging well-run and slick Grand Prix events. The venue entertained the colourful Motocross of Nations almost 12 months ago and rounds of the World Championship in 2001 and 2003.
The weather forecast for the weekend is excellent with sunshine and high temperatures predicted.
"Practicing was pretty good today and there were a few top riders getting their sand practice at Lommel! We had a bit of trouble with the gearbox. Last week the bike was perfect and I was off-form, today it was the other way around! I like Lierop and it will get very rough there by the time of the motos on Sunday. I have some nice memories from last year but my objective will be to concentrate on getting in the top five and running with the leaders again. "
MX1 World Championship Standings (after 15 rounds): 1 Stefan Everts, BEL 621. 2 Joshua Coppins, NZL 576. 3 Ben Townley, NZL 505. 4 Mickael Pichon, FRA 446. 5 Steve Ramon, BEL 423. 6 Joel Smets, BEL 385. 7 Pascal Leuret, FRA 296. 8 Ken de Dijcker, BEL 274. 9 James Noble, GBR 274. 10 Tanel Leok, EST 268. 11 Jonathan .Barragan, SPA 256. 12 Brian .Jorgensen, DEN 249. 13 Danny Theybers, BEL 242. 14 Yoshitaka Atsuta, JPN 199. 18 Kevin Strijbos, BEL 144.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office