Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 rider Clement Desalle will start from eight place in today's MX1 GP at Fermo in Italy after crashing in qualifying race while challenging for a top-three position.
With the sun-bathed Monterosato circuit providing plenty of uphill and downhill work - and a curious mix of hard-pack soil with deep ruts in the tight corners - the track at the third round of 16 in the FIM Motocross World Championship was not an easy run: Desalle struggled to get comfortable with the surface on which he won two years ago and the small crash in the qualification dash just added to his frustration. A top-10 slot on the start gate, however, is not a disaster for the banked first turn that will prove a decisive location for the opening phases of the two 35 minute and two-lap GP motos.
Team mate Tanel Leok was 15th and undone by a poor start and hesitancy in getting into an effective race rhythm. The Estonian was riding with his left ankle heavily strapped but cited his ability to hit better lap-times and a lack of aggression with his overtaking as reasons for his slot on the middle of the start line tomorrow.
More good weather and decent temperatures are predicted for race-day. The first MX1 moto commences at 13.10 CET.
"I'm struggling with this track. It is very strange; rutty in some places, slippery in others and then muddy in some sections. I made a good start in the heat race but Paulin and Pourcel passed me and I made a mistake going down the hill. Too much gas and I landed in a weird way and jumped off the bike, so I'm disappointed so far. The bike is fine but I just need to get my rhythm sorted for the races."
"I need to perfect my start technique a little bit because I'm losing too much ground out of the gate. I'm feeling better on the track all the time and I think I just need to be quicker with my passing and get a flow going quickly. This is my weak point at the moment; if I can get away with the leaders, then I know I can be better. We changed the front end of the bike a little bit to get it steering faster in the turns and also tried a wider tyre."
MX1 Qualification Heat classification: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 25:09.523; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:01.559; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:33.611; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:38.930; 5. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:44.173; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:48.327; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:52.711; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), +0:57.856; 9. Cedric Soubeyras (FRA, Honda), +1:01.781; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:02.912.15. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), +1:11.941.