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Clement Desalle and Tanel Leok both came through showery and difficult race conditions at Kegums for the Grand Prix of Latvia in front of 21,000 spectators today, capturing sixth and seventh positions respectively for the 10th round of 16 in the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Kegums was rough and wet after rainfall during the night that managed to churn the thin layer of loose earth into a slower and more technical prospect compared to the fast and flat terrain on Saturday. The bumps that littered the surface caught out many riders and also placed stress on the race machinery.

Struggling with the slightly debilitating effects of a cold, Desalle set off from third place in the gate and although he was vying for a leading position on the first lap, endured a dramatic 35 minute and 2 lap moto with a brace of crashes and some brave manoeuvres. Seventh spot by the flag did not reflect the rapid Belgian’s speed. Torrential downpours between the motos increased the muddy state and rough demands of the track and Desalle was part of an entertaining four-rider battle for second position until a hefty fall through the waves section several laps before the finish saw him having to settle for fourth place with a damaged front wheel.

Leok set the second fastest lap-time in warm-up for an encouraging start to the day. The Estonian was more comfortable on the shifting circuit compared to the dry hard-pack of Saturday and some adjustments to his rear suspension and engine-mapping helped him improve his speed on the RM-Z450. A good start in the first race pushed Leok to sixth position and then he fought from a contrasting launch in the second moto to fight through to seventh spot.

Desalle came to Latvia with a three-point lead in the MX1 World Championship table and now leaves 12 points adrift but is still firmly in the title-chase with six rounds and 12 motos of racing remaining. Leok has moved to eighth overall and now just 28 points from moving up a further position.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 will now head directly across the border and to Russia: A long drive to Semigorje through the country and east of Moscow will precede the circuit’s inauguration as a Grand Prix venue for round 11 of the series.

Clement Desalle:

“The speed was there today but I made too many mistakes. I was not happy at all with my riding in the first moto; it was not fun and I didn’t take any pleasure from being out there. Normally the more fun I’m having on the bike then the better things seem to be! There were many big, hard bumps and I felt pretty knocked about – I was also sick coming to Latvia – but the track was the same for everybody. I had two crashes and finished seventh. It was not good but I came out of it without getting hurt. In the second moto I lost some places in the waves section but kept fourth and for a while I found it very hard to pass. When I got up to second I could see that Kevin Strijbos was very far in front. I made some ground and was pushing hard. I was riding well and not over the limit but then through the waves section my front wheel was a little bit more to the left than usual and I lost control. The back wheel hit hard and threw me over the bars and I broke the front wheel. I finished the race as best I could from that point. Today didn’t go as I expected and I have a bit of pain in my back after the crash but I did the best I could and we’ll look for better results from here.”

Tanel Leok:

“My feeling was better than yesterday. We worked a bit on the bike and I could ride faster with the track. I was more comfortable. I struggled with the start in the second moto – I touched De Reuver and lost my balance – and had to come back from that but seventh was OK. To go sixth and seventh is not too bad actually but I know it still could have been better because my riding was quite good. I still need to work a little bit on my first laps but I made good progress in that second race. The track was a lot rougher and that helped.”

MX1 Moto: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:10.291; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:14.660; 3. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:19.982; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:25.045; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:29.425; 6. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:30.185; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:48.051; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:49.206; 9. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:50.222; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:50.592.

MX1 Moto2: 1. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 40:41.137; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:09.646; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:14.187; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:21.801; 5. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:23.040; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:34.385; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:40.746; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:51.920; 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.297; 10. Marc de Reuver (NED, Kawasaki), +1:20.375.

MX1 Overall result: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 42 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 36 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 33 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 32 p.; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 29 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 26 p.; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 26 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 22 p.

MX1 World Championship Standings (after 10 of 16 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 392 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 380 p.; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 357 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 348 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 299 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 279 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 258 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 230 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 219 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 212 p

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