Desalle 8th on the gate after Fermo MX1 fall

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.

Clement Desalle:

"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."

Tanel Leok:

"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.

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