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Apr 20, 2014 - 03:55 AM
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Good Gate-Picks For Rockstar Energy Suzuki
Posted by: newsla on Apr 20, 2014 - 03:51 AM
Good Gate-Picks For Rockstar Energy Suzuki

One week after the bumpy and slippery hard-pack of Arco di Trento in Italy, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP team encountered another punishing track at the rain-hit Sevlievo facility for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria as Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos steered their works RM-Z450s to fifth and sixth positions respectively through the ruts and tacky soft ground of the award-winning circuit.


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Although the first day of action at the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship was dry, some heavy showers in the lead-up to the event had battered the Bulgarian mud and turned the terrain into a spongy and very rough surface.

Desalle tweaked the settings of his RM-Z450 – the same motorcycle that he used to win the Grand Prix of Trentino six days previously – to grab the fastest lap-time during the morning in the joint free/ timed-practice session. A reduced timetable was put into place in the name of track preservation. His start was not ideal but he was still inside the top-five and then just clicked-down the laps for a steady finish and acceptable position in the gate for the GP motos tomorrow.

Strijbos was impressive: A small mistake on the opening lap of the heat race saw him tumble to the ground and out of a top-10 slot. The Belgian then set a fantastic pace to regain half-a-dozen positions and reach sixth. The ‘# 22’ was encouraged by his rhythm and performance and is optimistic for tomorrow; where he will be chasing his second podium-finish in a row.

Clement Desalle:

“I got a clean lap this morning in the combined session and that was good. In the qualification heat I got out of the gate well but then I hit a muddy patch and it was like going through glue! Two riders passed me and I think I was fourth after the first corner. I then just rode my rhythm on a track that was very sketchy because of the ruts. The ground was so sticky and sometimes the bike would take-off in another direction. I didn’t like the conditions so much but had to deal with them. I took it easy in the last two laps and finished the race easy. Tomorrow is more important.”

Kevin Strijbos:

“I got a decent start but on the first big uphill I jumped to the inside of the track. In practice I had been going to the outside because it was too wet. It was still a bit too soft when I landed and the handlebar slipped away. After that it was actually quite easy. I think many guys were struggling in the ruts today and with arm-pump. This time I was ‘arm-pump-free’ and I was happy with that! I could take whatever line I wanted. I was one of the fastest guys out there so I’ll hope for another good start again and we'll see what happens.”

MXGP Qualification Heat result: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 25:31.817; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:01.411; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.216; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:04.421; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:25.437; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:29.921; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:32.799; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:36.358; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:41.451; 10. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +0:51.849.

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