Kevin Strijbos (Suzuki Racing) reigned supreme in the fifth round of the United Telecom Trophy in Nismes. In front of a crowd of more than 4500 spectators “The Kid” took three heat wins. Frenchman Sébastien Pourcel (GPKR-Kawasaki) finished second overall. Series leader Steve Ramon (Suzuki Racing) stretched his lead of the United Telecom Trophy. The man from Bruges now has a 58 point advantage on second placed Christophe Pourcel. Kevin Strijbos did an excellent job in the championship standings, leaping from 5th to 3rd place.
Christophe Pourcel was the first into the right hand first corner of the track. But his lead was short lived as brother Sébastien soon took over. For a short moment it seemed as if the Pourcel brothers would annihilate the competition. However behind the French brothers the Suzuki pairing of Ramon and Strijbos upped their rhythm. Strijbos showed the most eagerness taking third from Ramon and then second from Christophe Pourcel. In lap 8 Strijbos and Ramon flew past Sébastien Pourcel. Manuel Priem was the only other rider capable of following the Suzuki and Kawasaki factory riders. The TM rider finished fifth at 1,4 second off Christophe Pourcel. Seventeen year old Gregory Aranda, who made his come-back, impressed with a good 6th place just before Marvin Van Daele.
Sébastien Pourcel took the holeshot of race 2. However Kevin Strjbos took over the lead and upped the pace dramatically. Sébastien Pourcel tried to hang on while Christophe Pourcel and Ramon fought out a duel for third. Laying fifth Manuel Priem had a front row seat for this fight. At the beginning of lap 8 Christophe’s front wheel slid out. Ramon had to use all his riding skills to avoid the Frenchman. Ramon just missed Pourcel’s arm. A spectacular race-incident, luckily without any injuries. Priem took benefit of it to take 4th place. Strijbos finished with a 5 second lead on Séb Pourcel.
Kevin Strijbos continued his winning streak in heat three. Sébastien Pourcel once again took the holeshot but after three laps Strijbos’ one-man show began. Despite strong opposition from Pourcel Strijbos was able to make a break. Steve Ramon occupied third position. At the halfway mark Christophe Pourcel passed Priem for fourth. Van Daele took sixth and had his best race of the day. Patrick Caps on a modified Gas Gas enduro bike took eleventh in the heat and 10th overall. His best result so far in the 2007 United Telecom Trophy.
The sixth round of the United Telecom Trophy is scheduled for august 15th at the Keiheuvel track in Balen.
Kevin Strijbos (winner): “I didn’t know where I would be with my knee injury. I felt good in heat one and that motivated me for the rest of the day. Each time I had to dig deep to go after Pourcel (Seb) and pass him. The third heat was a bit tougher because of the rain. All in all I’m pretty stoked with my second win in this year’s United Telecom Trophy.
Sébastien Pourcel (second): “I enjoyed the racing today and I got to show myself here in Belgium. The level of racing was pretty high, as well because of the other riders as because of the track. I rode good and took two holeshots, only Kevin was slightly better today.”
Steve Ramon (third): “Because of the stones and the rock hard floor Nismes isn’t really my favourite track. Kevin was really fast today, I tried to follow him but he was definitely stronger. I don’t mind Strijbos regaining points in the series. My lead over Christophe Pourcel has increased. And Balen and Orp-Le-Grand are two tracks that I like.
1. STRIJBOS Kevin, 2. RAMON Steve, 3. POURCEL Sébastien, 4. POURCEL Christophe, 5.PRIEM Manueel, 6. ARANDA Gregory, 7. VAN DAELE Marvin, 8. THEYBERS DANNY, 9. VERBRUGGEN Dennis, 10. CAPS Patrick
1.STRIJBOS Kevin, 2. POURCEL Sébastien, 3. RAMON Steve, 4. PRIEM Manue, 5.POURCEL Christophe, 6. ARANDA Gregory, 7. VAN DAELE Marvin, 8. VERBRUGGEN Dennis, 9. THEYBERS Danny, 10. VERHOEVEN Bas
1.STRIJBOS Kevin, 2. POURCEL Sébastien, 3. RAMON Steve, 4. POURCEL Christophe, 5. PRIEM Manuel, 6. VAN DAELE Marvin, 7. ARANDA Gregory, 8. VERBRUGGEN Dennis, 9. THEYBERS Danny, 10. VERHOEVEN Bas
1. STRIJBOS Kevin (BEL-Suzuki) 75 ptn, 2. POURCEL Sébastien (FRA-Kawasaki) 64 ptn, 3. RAMON Steve (BEL-Suzuki) 62 ptn, 4. POURCEL Christophe (FRA-Kawasaki) 52 ptn, 5. PRIEM Manuel (BEL-TM) 50 ptn,6. ARANDA Gregory (FRA-Kawasaki) 44 ptn, 7. VAN DAELE Marvin (BEL-Shineray) 43 ptn, 8. VERBRUGGEN Dennis (BEL-Yamaha) 38 ptn, 9. THEYBERS Danny (BEL-Honda) 37 ptn, 10. CAPS Patrick (BEL-Gas Gas) 31 ptn
UNITED TELECOM TROPHY STANDINGS
1. RAMON Steve 325 ptn, 2. POURCEL Christophe 267, 3. STRIJBOS Kevin 244 ptn, 4. PRIEM Manuel 239, 5. VAN DAELE Marvin 213 ptn, 6. THEYBERS Danny 194 ptn, 7. DE DIJCKER Ken 134 ptn, 8. VERBRUGGEN Dennis 124 ptn, 9. ARANDA Grégory 104 ptn, 10. NORLEN Marcus 99 ptn, 11. SALAETS Kristof 98 ptn, 12. VERHOEVEN Bas 94 ptn, 13. ROOS Patrick 86 ptn, 14. BREUGELMANS Sven 83 ptn, 15. DE BELDER Tom 76 ptn, 16. PHILIPPAERTS David 69 ptn, 17. DE REUVER Marc 68 ptn, 18. POURCEL Sébastien 64 ptn, 19. BROWN Mike 48 ptn, 20. SCHRöTER Dennis 45 ptn
Tussenstand ‘Challenger award’:
1. VERBRUGGEN Dennis 124 ptn
2. SALAETS Kristof 98
3. DE BELDER Tom 76
4. ROELANTS Joà"l 38
5. GRADE Jelle 37
6. COLLET Vincent 26 ptn