Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle raced to victory at the Hawkstone Park International Motocross – the second year in succession that the Belgian has topped the MX1 class at the popular UK pre-season event.
Desalle – who also put his Suzuki RM-Z450 on the top step of the podium at the Valence International in France last weekend – won both races at the famous and historic former GP venue in Shropshire on Sunday.
After recording Pole Position in the morning’s qualifying, the 22 year old grabbed the holeshot in the first MX1 race, closely followed by main rival Gautier Paulin (Kawasaki). The two swapped places briefly, but Desalle managed to pull away and take the flag. In the second race, he accidentally went off the track while leading, but he managed to recover and close back on the Frenchman, get ahead again; and bring home his second victory of the day – and the overall – by six points.
In the joint MX1-MX2-class Superfinal – where the top MX2 competitors were given a five-second head-start from the MX1 riders – Desalle finished in second place behind Swiss Arnaud Tonus (Yamaha).
Desalle’s World MX1 team mate Tanel Leok was a non-starter at the event: The Estonian was injured in a mid-week training session when he collided with another rider. X-rays showed a small tear in his ankle tendon and after consulting with team Doctor Sam Vermeiren and specialist Toon Claes, it was decided not to race as a preventative measure and to allow the injury to heal in time for the opening round of the World MX1 Championship on April 9th at Valkenswaard in Holland.
Said Desalle, who was injured whilst leading last year’s World MX1 series: “The race was a good preparation for the season. Together with Paulin, I think we had some exciting races. I feel good on the bike and I’m happy that my shoulders are doing well: I found some issues, however, that I can still work on in my preparation towards the first GP in Valkenswaard.”
MX1 Class Overall Result: 1 Clement Desalle (Rockstar Energy Suzuki) 20+20 – 40 points, 2 Gautier Paulin 17+17 – 34, 3 Xavier Boog 9+15 – 24, 4 Kevin Strijbos 11+13 – 24, 5 Shaun Simpson 15+7 – 22.
Superfinal Result: 1 Arnaud Tonus, 2 Clement Desalle (Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 3 Mattis Karro, 4 Marc De Reuver, 5 Jake Nicholls.