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Apr 13, 2014 - 06:20 AM
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Desalle 3rd In Trentino MXGP Qualifying
Posted by: newsla on Apr 13, 2014 - 06:18 AM
Desalle 3rd In Trentino MXGP Qualifying

A short, bumpy and hard-pack Arco di Trento circuit was a tough challenge for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP on the first day of action at the Grand Prix of Trentino as Clement Desalle qualified in third position for what is the fourth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship; as team-mate Kevin Strijbos emerged from the 20 minute and two-lap heat race in front of a voluminous Italian public with 10th spot.


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To describe Arco as ‘compact’ would be an apt description. The narrow and twisty layout was ‘typically Italian’ with its hard, slippery terrain and unrelenting sequence of corners, jumps and obstacles. A prime finishing position among the top group of the premier MXGP class was less important than usual due to the wide, uphill start straight but getting away in the top five for the two 30 minute and two-lap races tomorrow is almost essential for any realistic chances of victory or the podium.

Running elements of 2015 material on his race-trim RM-Z450, Desalle was indifferent to the course but rapid nonetheless, setting the fastest lap-time in free practice and then the second best circulation in the second crono. His getaway from the line was not the best for the Heat and he rode a solitary sprint in fourth position, moving up to third when Jeremy Van Horebeek crashed out of second place.

Strijbos also appreciated that Arco was an acquired taste and the Belgian slowly felt his way up to speed during the day. A bustling first lap of the heat race saw ‘#22’ pushed down the field but he drilled his way back from a position in the second half of the pack to take 10th by the chequered flag.

With the FIM Women’s World Championship and the first round of the European EMX125 series occurring as part of the support programme, Arco has been a busy venue for the first European fixture on the 2014 GP calendar.

Clement Desalle:

“When I did the first lap of free practice I could not believe how short the lap felt. Even more than last year and a one forty lap-time! We swapped engines after the first practice as we heard a noise and took a precaution. The heat was OK. I was in the top-four and tried to make a rhythm even though it took a while to find my lines. It was hard to come back and pass the other riders; very tricky. There are some hard bumps out there and from a small mistake can come a big crash, but I did my best. Third is enough for a good place in the gate because there are a few options. You need to be top-five in the first corner, top-three better and first is the best of course!”

Kevin Strijbos:

“It was not so easy. The track is not good and it is even shorter than last year. Everywhere you go they have built something into it. Everybody is doing the same thing and does the same jump so it is difficult to make anything happen. I didn’t have a good feeling after first practice and changed the bike for the second but it wasn’t the right direction. We changed back for the qualifying. I had a good start but in the first few corners I had so much trouble with other riders hitting each other and having to avoid a lot. I was back in 20th or something and fought back to 10th. My riding was better and I could close up to some people quite easily, so the speed was not so bad in the end. On other Saturdays I have won and Sunday has not been so good. This time I am hoping it will go vice-versa; Saturday not good and Sunday much better! The gate-pick is not so important here but I need to focus on the start for the race. I think top-five should be possible.”

MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), 24:29.095; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:09.235; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:14.828; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:25.433; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:34.585; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:38.438; 7. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +0:39.508; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:40.144; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:45.841; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:46.893.

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