Clement Desalle took his factory Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 RM-Z450 to second place overall at Bastogne for the Grand Prix of Belgium as 18,000 spectators crowded around one of the best tracks so far in the 2012 FIM Motocross World Championship to watch some great action in the premier MX1 class.
The eighth round of 16 was washed-out on Saturday through relentless rainfall that softened the circuit and almost flooded the paddock. The qualification heat races were cancelled but Desalle was able to secure his first Pole position of the season through the fastest lap in the chrono. The Belgian was able to feed off the enthusiasm and energy of the vast banks of supporters in attendance and pushed hard for the win in both 35 minute and two-lap motos
Desalle and his peers were quick to acknowledge the quality of the San Souci layout as the climate performed a ‘U-Turn’ on Sunday and sunshine and decent temperatures dried the facility. The terrain was in good shape and offered line choices and generous overtaking opportunities. Desalle made a mistake in the opening stages of the first moto which meant a fierce series of laps to recover from a slot in the top 10 and reach third place. He pushed hard to try and pass Gautier Paulin but was unable to demote the Frenchman. A better launch in the second race allowed Desalle to find his way to the front and he tried to escape the attentions of Antonio Cairoli and Christophe Pourcel. For a quarter of the sprint he gave the public good reason to get noisy but Cairoli was too quick on the day and Desalle centred his attention on making sure of the runner-up slot.
After five podiums from eight events Desalle is second in the MX1 standings and is 47 points behind Cairoli and six in front of Pourcel. Desalle’s team-mate Tanel Leok is 10th and one point from ninth.
The Estonian was quick across the wetter and greasy surface on Saturday but was again handicapped by his starts and first laps on Sunday, especially in the initial outing where he was held up by a crash by other riders on the first turn. Leok pushed hard for ninth and seventh in the two motos aboard his Factory RM-Z450 and ended the day with seventh in the MX1 classification.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 can now down tools for a break after three successive Grand Prix events. FIM Motocross World Championship duty resumes with a trip to Uddevalla in Sweden on July 1st.
“I always try to win the Grand Prix so for that I’m a little disappointed but it was good to get a result at this place. The crowd was great to me and I don’t think I have ever felt such strong support. Antonio was just a bit too fast for us today but I tried my best. I have to say big congratulations to the organisers because they had bad luck with the weather but they did great work on the track and there were more places for overtaking and some nice lines.”
“My riding was good today so I am happy for that. I didn’t have the best start in the first moto and then just couldn’t avoid the guys that had fallen in front of me in the first corner. I was just stuck there as everybody else took off. To come back to ninth from back there was pretty decent. In the second race I started OK but wasn’t too fast in getting a rhythm going. I then lost a bit of time behind Davide Guarneri. Once I got through I had a small crash and that cost me. They did a good job with the track but it wasn’t that easy to pass in places because the lines were the same speed.”