Desalle Podiums At Si Racha MX

Clement Desalle scaled the FIM Motocross World Championship podium for the second time in eight days as the rapid Belgian took his Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 works RM-Z450 to third place overall at Si Racha for the first ever Grand Prix of Thailand.

The event was characterised by high temperatures and humidity and the new facility housed a jumpy, spectacular and grippy layout that carved into a challenging racing course by the end of the weekend. Some 17,000 curious spectators travelled to the venue close to Pattaya and witnessed the second running of the Superfinal format that saw the MX1 and MX2 classes mixed for their second moto points scores.

Desalle made a reasonable getaway in the first sprint and was closing on the rear of Antonio Cairoli for third position when an attempted scrub went wrong on the big double jump in the centre of the track and ‘#25’ caught his foot on the outside of a rut and was thrown off the back of the bike. He was fortunate to be unharmed – except for some stitches required for a torso scratch – and swiftly recovered the bike losing minimal time. With Evgeny Bobryshev also falling late in the moto Desalle was able to move into a well-earned third place by the finish line.

A decent start in the Superfinal saw Desalle following Cairoli. The World Champion was able to make a gap and the Suzuki man then had to deal with Gautier Paulin and Jeffrey Herlings. Having successfully defended third place from the MX2 champion, Desalle tried to capitalise on a mistake by Paulin on the last lap but the Frenchman re-entered the track at speed and the two briefly touched. Desalle confirmed third at the flag to again walk the rostrum.

Team mate Kevin Strijbos had a difficult day and classified 10th at this second round of 18. Strijbos didn’t get away well for Moto1: The Belgian veteran was slow in the first laps and had worked all weekend to try and find an effective rhythm on the Thai earth without much success. The former GP winner was finally able to settle down and progress from a position outside the top 10 to grab seventh but was unsatisfied. In the Superfinal he was also frustrated and a bad start enforced an aggressive approach to scale the time sheets and reach 12th by the end of play.

Desalle has conceded the red plate to Cairoli but remains just eight points adrift in the championship with Strijbos not far away in sixth. The third round of the series will happen much closer to home for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 with the Grand Prix of The Netherlands set for Valkenswaard on Easter weekend.

Clement Desalle:

“To be on the podium again is OK. Luckily I leave this GP without much pain. I was scrubbing and caught my foot on the ground. My body was not going the same speed as my bike and I ended up like Superman. It was a really big crash but I was able to get up and finish the moto. I had a scratch and some stitches but was happy that I didn’t have an injury. The medical staff did a great job and it’s nice to know we have that kind of good facility right next to the track. The track itself was too new but I enjoyed the end of the first moto and also the second because more lines came up.”

Kevin Strijbos:

“A very bad weekend I think. My speed was OK but I didn’t feel good on the track during both days. I had a good start in the first moto but struggled to find my rhythm and many riders passed me. I dropped from fifth to 12th and then fought back to seventh, so at least I recovered a little bit. I missed the start completely in the second race and was far behind. It was sketchy with the 250s in the Superfinal. Last week I had a good start and it seemed OK but this time inside the pack I thought it was crazy. I did OK but it was difficult to pass. To come home 10th in MX1 is bad and I think I have to forget this GP, go home, rest and work towards Valkenswaard.”

MX1 Moto1: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:04.412; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:10.685; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:17.533; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:25.044; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:31.640; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Honda), +0:34.070; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:36.997; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:55.535; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:58.921; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +1:01.405.

Superfinal result: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:29.807; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:17.338; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:19.927; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:32.228; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:39.004; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:48.891; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), +0:51.171; 8. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +0:59.330; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +1:05.281; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:12.554; 12. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +1:16.311.

MX1 Overall: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 40 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 40 p.; 4. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 34 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 34 p.; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 29 p.; 7. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), 25 p.; 8. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 25 p.; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 25 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), 23 p.

MX1 World Championship Standings: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 95 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 87 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 78 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 70 p.; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 64 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 55 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 52 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 47 p.; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 47 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), 41 p.

MX Vice Editor || 25

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