Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle won a moto and finished second in the second to earn his third runner-up classification of 2013 on the Factory RM-Z450 at today’s 13th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship at Lausitzring in Germany.
Desalle entered double figures for podium trophies for the season with his 10th spray of champagne and also consolidated second place in the MX1 championship after rival Gautier Paulin crashed out of action. The Belgian trailed the Frenchman by nine points entering the Eurospeedway event, but thanks to his 1-2 scorecard leaves with an advantage of 24 over Ken De Dycker.
The Lausitzring drew the series to a temporary, sandy and rough track hastily constructed over part of the motorsport oval surrounded by seating to accommodate 120,000 people. The first use of the arena saw a weekend figure of 16,000 enter the gates but with temperatures touching the mid-30s – and the Motocross of Nations just seven weeks away – circumstances conspired against a major turnout. Nevertheless, the riders encountered a gnarly and treacherous course that also provided some options thanks to ample width and line-choice.
Desalle enjoyed two positive starts: After a heavy crash by Paulin in the first moto, he was able to take control and produced one of his best performances of 2013 to keep Antonio Cairoli at bay and earn his third chequered flag. The ‘#25’ faced stiffer opposition from the World Champion in the second sprint and couldn’t catch the Sicilian. Although he tied on points, Desalle was second due to the Moto2 ranking.
It was a case of ‘fives all around’ for Kevin Strijbos: The Belgian took the same result in both outings for a repeat of the position in the overall classification. Strijbos fought hard in the second race after fluffing his start; and his lines and rhythm contained positive signs that the podium can again be reached before the end of 2013. Strijbos is also still fifth in the MX1 table ahead of Tommy Searle.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 will travel south and slightly west this week as it crosses the border to Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic and round 14 next weekend.
“My feeling was good on the bike today and even if my starts were not perfect I could still get into the top-four in the first laps. I got into first position in the first moto and – like I try to do all the time – found a good rhythm to make a gap; enough to be able to win. It was going well and I only made two mistakes. The track was a bit tricky but it was also good for riding because it was technical and not too dusty. I appreciate the fact that the ground was well taken care of, especially with the high temperatures. I knew the second moto would be difficult and Tommy Searle and I fought again but it was good and quiet this time. Afterwards I was behind Antonio and following his lines, staying in touch, but it was getting hotter and hotter and I just wanted to stay on two wheels. To take the points today and be second in the championship is good for me and the team but I’m sad for Gautier and it is not nice to see a rider down on the track for a long time. I hope he is OK. I’m happy to be up here on the podium but a bit disappointed to be second again. It is difficult to be concentrated and consistent to the end of the season but this is what we will aim for.”
“In the first heat I had a good start and was third but I had the same problem as the last few weekends where I was slow to find my rhythm. I dropped to ninth and then came back to fifth so the race ended quite well but it is a shame that I cannot really get going until the middle of the moto. I missed the start totally in the second race. It was difficult to come back and to pass but I managed some good laps and other people got tired. I was also struggling out there but could push for longer and found my way to fifth. I saw Tommy was fading and I tried to catch him but he was too far away in the end. Overall I think I can be quite happy with my GP; especially the second moto which shows I am in good shape.”