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Mar 08, 2014 - 05:26 PM
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Desalle 2nd In Thai MXGP Qualifying
Posted by: newsla on Mar 08, 2014 - 05:23 PM
Desalle 2nd In Thai MXGP Qualifying

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle rode to a second steady position in the heat of Si Racha today to earn a decent choice in the gate for the Grand Prix of Thailand tomorrow.


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The Belgian was satisfied with his performance on the RM-Z450WS and kept a solid pace behind World Champion Tony Cairoli to ride unchallenged, 28 seconds ahead of Jeremy Van Horebeek.

Stuffy and cloudy conditions shrouded the first day of action in just the second-ever Thai Grand Prix but the temperatures did not touch the demanding climate of 2013. Desalle set the fastest lap in timed practice by just seven-tenths-of-a-second and the fast and flowing layout – consisting of loose and stony dirt – saw many riders hitting similar lap-times.

A rapid start by Desalle and also team-mate Kevin Strijbos in the 20-minute qualification race witnessed both Suzukis marking the pace at the front of the premier class. Desalle was overtaken by Cairoli but rode his own speed to set up the prospect of an enticing duel for Sunday.

Strijbos experimented with the set-up of his RM-Z450 and altered the gearing between the two practice sessions. The Belgian was luckless in the Heat race as a stone smashed his goggle lens and allowed dust and mud to hinder his vision. Strijbos had to manage the 20 minutes + two with the handicap and reached the chequered flag with eighth position.

Clement Desalle:

“Like everybody I concentrated on myself and my own laps. It was better than last weekend and this was good for the confidence. I felt better on the bike and with this track also; I think you can see that with the way I was riding. Here I had a good start and I really hope for the same tomorrow! I was in first place after the second corner but I took an outside line because I wasn’t sure the inside was the best for the next jump. Cairoli passed me but I stayed with him, even though he had some good lines. The goal tomorrow is to keep on having fun and make those starts count for a good result.”

Kevin Strijbos:

“Today was really OK. The practices were alright and we changed something on the bike between the sessions which worked OK for the race. My start was good but on the second corner a rock dislodged my goggle lens and I got so much sand and dust inside. Every time I jumped it was going up and down and moving around. I was focussing more on the goggle than the track. I don't know what position I finished but we have to look at it in a positive way and the changes we made worked out OK. My arms felt fine and we are in good shape for tomorrow.”

Grand Prix of Thailand MXGP Qualification Heat result: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 24:56.883; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:10.168; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:38.661; 4. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:44.039; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:47.785; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:49.718; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:53.359; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:57.074; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +1:02.133; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, Honda), +1:04.243.

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