Team Suzuki Press Office – February 25.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos both showed an excellent form in their maiden race for 2014, both pulling-off race victories aboard their RM-Z450s at Lacapelle-Marival in France on Sunday.
After the International race of Valence was cancelled the week before, and bad weather hitting the region in the past couple of weeks, the organisers were able to provide an excellent track; even covering the entire circuit with plastic sheeting the days before the event.
After setting some decent lap times in the morning, Strijbos – who is coming back from a recent pelvis-injury – took the holeshot in the first heat and led from start to finish, with team mate Desalle second.
In the second heat, Desalle pulled off the perfect scenario of leading from start to finish. Strijbos didn’t have the great start but worked his way past Frossard and was gaining ground on Desalle. After feeling a slight pain in his groin, however, he decided to give his heavily worked muscles an easier time and finished fifth.
Desalle dominated the third and final heat, taking the overall win with Davide Guarnieri (TM) in second and fellow Suzuki team rider Markus Schiffer in third.
To avoid overloading his muscles, Strijbos opted not to start in the third heat in order to be fit and ready for the first Grand Prix in Qatar this coming weekend.
Clement Desalle: “Today went well. I feel comfortable on my bike again after my shoulder injury from the ‘Nations. This was just the first race and it’s good to see the speed is there, but the real challenge will be next week in Qatar. We have been working to do well there! ”
Kevin Strijbos: “I’m quite surprised actually. I have only been back on my bike for little over a week now and it’s hard to judge your speed when you’re alone on tracks in Spain and south of France for training, so I’m quite happy to see I have a pretty good pace at the moment. I have to watch out a little with my pelvis injury, it’s ok, but I sometimes feel it and don’t want to overdo it just before the beginning of the season.’
First Heat: 1. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki); 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki); 3. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM); 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Honda); 5.Xavier Boog (FRA, Honda); 6.Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM MX2); 7. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Honda); 8. Tanel Leok (EST, TM); 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, KTM MX2); 10. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki)
Second Heat: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki); 2. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki); 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, KTM); 4. Jordi Tixier (Fra, KTM); 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki); 6. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM); 7. Markus Schiffer (GER, Rockstar Energy Suzuki); 8. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki); 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Honda); 10. Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki MX2)
Third Heat: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki); 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM); 3. Markus Schiffer (GER, Rockstar Energy Suzuki); 4. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki); 5. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, KTM); 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki); 7. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM); 8. Joel Roelants (BEL, Honda); 9. Clermont (FRA, Suzuki); 10. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki).
Overall results MX1 : 1. Clement Desalle, 72 ; 2. Guarneri, 50 ; 3. Markus Schiffer, 47 ; 4. Pourcel, 45 ; 5. Teillet, 43 ; 6.Roelants, 43 ; 7. Kevin Strijbos, 43 ; 8. Frossard, 35 ; 9. Delince (Bel, Yamaha), 31 ; 10 .Boog, 21.