Desalle still chasing for the MX1 title

A well-received first Grand Prix in Russia for 10 years saw Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 rider Clement Desalle finish second overall on the factory RM-Z450 for the fourth time this season.

Some 45,000 spectators surrounded the new venue of Semigorje east of Moscow and deep in the Ivanovo region as the compact track was hit by torrential downpours on Saturday but the sand dried and changed in terms of the challenge it offered under sunny skies on Sunday.

The 11th round of 16 in the FIM Motocross World Championship was staged on a jumpy and winding course surrounded on three sides by packed banks of fans. As the racing surface changed throughout the weekend depending on the shade of the sky overhead, Desalle and team mate Tanel Leok continued to hone the set-up of their machines and decipher the fastest lines to conquer the technical 1500m layout.

Desalle set off from seventh pick in the gate on Sunday. The Belgian had to ditch his goggles in the rain during the qualification heat and exercised caution for an acceptable slot on the line. His speed and precision stepped up a notch in the dry and he strived for second position with Ken De Dycker in the first moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration but was not able to get close enough to pass his countryman. In the second race Desalle benefitted from a slip and crash by Antonio Cairoli to lead the race for 14 of the 21 laps but a mistake by the Portuguese and Swedish GP winner allowed the Sicilian to move through in the closing stages. Second place was enough for the same spot on the podium.

Leok was nursing the left ankle he injured earlier in the season after catching the joint last week in Latvia and then tweaking his leg during practice in the mud yesterday. The Estonian was also dismayed to wake up on Sunday morning with a poorly stomach and the affliction further inhibited his performance in the races. Leok pushed the limits of his fitness and capabilities to record ninth and 10th positions for 10th overall. He now has an appointment later this week to check on the status of the ankle.

In the FIM Motocross World Championship standings Desalle keeps second and is just 20 points behind Cairoli with five grands prix and 250 points still remaining in the bag. Leok is eighth.

The Grand Prix of Czech Republic on August 5th will be the next appointment for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1. The hilly and slippery circuit of Loket will be the 12th appointment on the calendar for the Belgian crew as the schedule enters the final two months and the run to the Motocross of Nations at Lommel in Belgium at the end of September.

Clement Desalle:

“My riding was better compared to yesterday and I had a better feeling on the track. I just had one big mistake in that second moto. I was really focussing on strong laps but it was easy to make a mistake – like Antonio also showed. There were some big ruts in the waves and we are very fast entering these sections; it is possible to lose everything in one second. We are runner-up again but we will keep working to be first next time! The track was pretty good. There are always some things to improve, but it was nice to be able to find different lines and look for passing places. When we have fun on the bike then it makes it better for everybody.”

Tanel Leok:

“Not so good today. I feel a bit sick with stomach problems and wanted to puke during the race. I felt empty and without any energy; it was all about surviving until the end of the moto. Together with the ankle it made for a very hard day. I have an appointment to have the leg looked at on Thursday because it’s not normal that I am always in pain like this.”

MX1 Moto1: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:45.999; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:05.960; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:07.579; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.938; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:30.092; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:35.017; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:37.056; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:48.946; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:50.714; 10. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +0:52.555.

MX1 Moto2: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:21.770; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:07.892; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:25.744; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:33.416; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:36.099; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:40.135; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:52.103; 8. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +1:03.761; 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:15.308;10. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +1:18.144.

MX1 Overall result: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 42 p.; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 42 p.; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 36 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 31 p.; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 28 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 28 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), 24 p.; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 23 p.

MX1 World Championship Standings (after 11 of 16 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 442 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 422 p.; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 393 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 376 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 341 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 304 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 277 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 253 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 247 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 212 p.

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