Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 rolled out of the confined paddock at Arco di Trento for the fourth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship with both of their riders in the top five of the final MX1 standings in the Grand Prix of Trentino, but lamented the chance to pick up another podium trophy.
Clement Desalle guided his works RM-Z450 to third position in the opening moto watched by 23,000 spectators in the shade of the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy. The twisty, narrow, hard-pack and slippery circuit – formed from a bumpy terrain littered with ripples and braking bumps – was hardly a breeze for overtaking and the Belgian was frustrated not to be able to pass Gautier Paulin for the runner-up position.
Desalle planned a renewed attack in the second race of 35 minutes and two laps duration but his strategy was ruined on the second corner when a collision sent him to the ground. Restarting almost in last spot, a long outing eventually ended with a damage-limiting eighth to put the Qatar GP winner in fourth place overall.
Kevin Strijbos was fifth in the final MX1 listing: The Belgian endured arm-pump and lack of conviction across the Italian soil in the first moto on his way to an otherwise satisfactory sixth position. Tucking into the slipstream of Paulin as the duo cut through the top 10 in the second race paid dividends as Strijbos was able to scale the rankings faster and took his ‘#22’ RM-Z450 to fifth.
Desalle is now third in the points standing but will swiftly have the chance to reverse his luck with round five taking place at Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria next weekend. Strijbos is fifth as the team continues its steady launch to the 2013 campaign.
“The first moto was not too bad but I was disappointed because I was stuck too long behind Gautier Paulin and I could not pass him. My start was better in the second moto. I was third but in the second corner I touched Searle and it was like my bike was glued to his. I don’t know what happened. I restarted last and on the second lap I crashed again. I came back to eighth but it was a bad day. My work didn’t pay anything back.”
“I was OK today. I didn’t have a good feeling in the first race and when I was behind Leok I was stuck there for a bit and by the time I passed him there was a big gap to the others. Sixth wasn’t too bad but I wasn’t that happy because I didn’t feel sharp and was tired in my arms. I was anxious about the second moto because I wasn’t sure how I would get on. My jump was good but the wheel span on part of the gate and then someone – I think it was Simpson – came right across from the inside and hit me all the way to the outside. It felt like I was almost last! The speed and riding was good after that and I moved forward with Gautier and every time he overtook I was able to go past also. I ended up having more confidence than the first moto and I hope I can start the Grand Prix next week with this good feeling from the beginning. I think I can make the podium soon. The pace is there, I just need a few small things to click into place.”