Posted By: James Hanson
Team Suzuki Press Office – August 1.
Clement Desalle placed his works RM-Z450WS machine on an FIM Motocross World Championship podium for the ninth time from 11 rounds this season as the Belgian claimed a trophy on home turf at Lommel for the Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 team with third position.
The Grand Prix of Limburg was packed by 23,500 spectators and the Belgian crew counted on hefty support under bright but cloudy skies.
The Lommel terrain provided its customary physical and mental demands on the riders and the soft and bumpy sand was also a push on the machinery. The technical waves and irregularity of the surface meant that the MX1 stars had to be focussed and smart with their race strategy, pacing the long 35 minute and 2 lap motos accordingly.
Desalle had to recover ground from two fairly mediocre starts and took part in an entertaining battle for third place with three other riders in the first outing; a contest which he won. A brief but intense skirmish with David Philippaerts for fourth was curtailed in the second affair when the Italian fell attempting an overtaking move. – and 21-year-old Desalle was then relatively free to run to the flag in fourth.
Team-mate Steve Ramon was unfortunate to also not pick up a trophy. Positive starts by the Belgian and decent speed across the two motos saw him among the leaders. He was part of the same dispute as Desalle in the first race but dropped off the competition in the final stages after a brief crash at slow speed in the right turn at the end of the pit-lane. His position of fifth looked likely to be better in the second moto as he held the runner-up slot comfortably ahead of Max Nagl but misjudged a jump-approach and fell heavily off the side of the track. The 30 year old gingerly completed the race in 11th for eighth overall.
Desalle’s consistency means that he has stretched five points over Philippaerts in the standings and the gap now rests at 41. The Belgian Champion is second and 79 behind Antonio Cairoli. Ramon is fifth and seven points behind Nagl.
Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 will now make the short drive back to their workshop and HQ before cleaning, preparing and loading the race trucks once more to drive across to Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic next weekend.
“It was a difficult GP so I am happy I am on the podium and my shoulder was OK in the sandy conditions. Physically it was hard and I was not that happy with my riding today; I can be better than that. I’m pleased I did not crash or make a big mistake and had some more fun fighting with Philippaerts. Loket is next and I won there last year. It is a good track for me and I like the place a lot. As ever, I will go to the next GP hoping to do my best.”
“I had good starts and my riding was good and it was a shame that the results did not come. I did not feel so quick in the first moto; I was not very comfortable and was losing concentration. The second moto was going better. I passed Max and just kept the same speed but in the entry to one rut approaching a jump I lost a bit of balance, went off the track and the bike threw me over the bars. I hit my legs hard on the handlebar. It was a big crash. I was up very quickly but once I was back on the bike I could not see so well and needed some time to get my senses back. Overall it was a pity I missed the podium.”