Clement Desalle will be chasing a fourth consecutive victory in the Grand Prix of Portugal this weekend and to continue a fantastic run of results at the Agueda circuit where the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 rider has not dropped out of the top three in four years.
The Belgian has trodden the top-step on his factory RM-Z450 each season since 2010 and the best method of securing a second triumph of 2013 will be to repeat his double-moto sweep of 2012 across the distinctive red dirt of Agueda, 80km south of Porto. Desalle comes into round six of 17 having grabbed his third podium classification of the campaign almost two weeks ago in Bulgaria and after topping-up his physical condition by competing in a local Triathlon event in Spa last week.
“I did something a bit different for some fun and the Triathlon, that wasn’t a full length competition, was a good way to change things up a bit,” he said. “I think I was 31st or something like that, so not too bad!
“I like Agueda and yeah, it would be good to go a fourth win but every year it is hard. We’ll do our best and see what happens. It seems the weather should be pretty good and that means the track will be more hard-pack, but I guess it will be watered and prepared; I’m looking forward to it.”
One of the threats Desalle could face in his Portuguese dominance will be his team-mate Kevin Strijbos: The pair memorably battled for the final spot on the rostrum in Bulgaria and Strijbos was unlucky to miss out having tied on points with Desalle. The Belgian’s form at Sevlievo represented a significant forward step and Strijbos will again be hoping to vie for the top-three at a venue where he tasted winner’s champagne in 2007.
The weather forecast for the weekend predicts sunshine and temperatures in the 20s for both days of action.