Desalle soldiers to 4th in French MX1

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 came through a tricky set of race conditions at St Jean D'Angely for the Grand Prix of France and Clement Desalle was able to put aside some difficult personal circumstances to finish fourth overall on his factory RM-Z450 in front of 31,000 spectators.

Today's sixth round of 16 in the FIM Motocross World Championship took place under cloudy skies and across a track that was stony and fast and grouped the riders together with extremely tight lap-times. Desalle worked on the set-up of his machine in practice and qualification and experimented with his Pirelli tyres to find the best traction. The Belgian was already facing adversity after a sudden family bereavement on Thursday naturally shadowed his approach to the meeting.

The 23 year old made two reasonable starts in the 35 minute and 2 lap motos and rode his own rhythm to be in contention for top-five finishes. Desalle steered the Suzuki to fifth during the first sprint and then took part in an entertaining battle for third position in the final race. He swapped track space with Christophe Pourcel and then overtook David Philippaerts on the final lap to secure fourth for the same ranking overall.

It was not an easy Grand Prix for Tanel Leok: The Estonian could not get out of the gate in both races and was fighting to improve his standing to reach the top 10. He was able to set an effective pace by the second half of the second moto but the former GP winner was disappointed to leave St Jean with 12th and 16th for 15th overall.

Desalle has slipped to third position in the MX1 Championship standings but is only one point behind Christophe Pourcel. Leok is 10th. The Grand Prix of Portugal at the challenging and enjoyable circuit of Agueda will host round seven of the series in Portugal next weekend and precedes a trip to Bastogne and the team's home event on June 17th.

Clement Desalle:

"It was difficult, mentally, to come here because we lost my grandfather who I was very close to so suddenly. It was very sad because he was in good health. When I was busy on the bike then I didn't have time to think about it. My riding in general was OK and I'm not disappointed about that. The top five were really fast at this track and I will try to do better in the future."

Tanel Leok:

"I don't know what happened today. I had bad starts but in the middle of the race I wasn't overtaking well and just lost too much ground. I improved my speed but I couldn't catch the other guys by that stage. I was stuck behind people for too long basically. If I can take any positives, then my pace at the end of the second moto was encouraging. Still, the overall result is not good today."

MX1 Moto1: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38:29.928; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.258; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:14.964; 4. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:17.382; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), +0:21.858; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:23.566; 7. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:27.154; 8. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:30.296; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:30.832; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:41.517; 11. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:51.704; 12. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), +0:53.277.

MX1 Moto2: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38:51.915; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.043; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:10.331; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), +0:14.353; 5. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:16.055; 6. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:21.310; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:21.501; 8. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:24.767; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:29.120; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:45.782; 16. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), +1:00.781.

MX1 Overall result: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), 34 p.; 5. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 32 p.; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 27 p.; 7. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 26 p.; 8. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 25 p.; 9. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 25 p.; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 24 p.; 15. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), 14 p.

MX1 World Championship Standings (after 6 of 16 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 253 points; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 214 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), 213 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 212 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 179 p.; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 169 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 161 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 154 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 134 p.; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki WMX1), 121 p.

Related Motorsport Articles

84,635 articles