Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 riders Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos concluded their American race vacation to race two rounds of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Racing Motocross Championship with sixth and seventh places at the weekend’s third round at Muddy Creek.
Even though all riders where new to the track, it didn’t take long for them to get used to it, Desalle qualified second behind Josh Grant (Yamaha) and half a second faster than Justin Barcia(Honda) and Ryan Dungey (KTM). Strijbos took a little more time to get used to the track and qualified 13th.
After a mediocre start in Moto 1, Desalle rounded the first turn in around 10th position. He gradually worked his way up to sixth position behind Mike Alessi (Suzuki) but this weeks’ duel with Alessi was decided in the advantage of Desalle. He slotted into fifth and moved closer to James Stewart (Suzuki) in fourth, but wasn’t able to pass him in the last laps. Strijbos set off in 12th position but a little crash on the third lap set him back to 21st position. He ultimately made it back to 14th position.
In the second moto both got a good start but only Strijbos was able to avoid the first turn-carnage. He started in fifth position but had to let Trey Canard (Honda) and Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) pass which set him back to seventh in both the second moto and the overall result. Desalle had some hard work to do after the first turn incident and came back to an impressive ninth position and sixth overall.
“I’m a little disappointed,” said Desalle. “With a bit more luck in the starts and first corner I think I would have been able to link-up with the top three and have some interesting battles there. I think my speed was there so it’s a shame this didn’t happen, but all-in-all the overseas trip was a good experience – we did some good training and work towards the future; something we can take along to the next GP of France.”
Strijbos said: “I didn’t have the best day. In the morning I didn’t feel too good on the track and only managed to get set 13th time. The start in the first race was okay but I went down when I was in eighth or ninth position. I had to pick myself up in the next couple of laps and managed to move forward into 13th position.
“Without the crash I think I had the speed to be somewhere between fifth and eighth. The second race I had a really good start but in the first, Clement crashed in front of me and I couldn’t avoid hitting him. While in fifth I tried to follow the pace of the guys in front of me, but they are so aggressive in the beginning of the race, which is something we’re not used to in GP racing. I managed to find a rhythm behind James Stewart. I didn’t lose much time so I was quite happy with that. In the end I was done; I gave so much in the first moto.”
Both riders headed back home straight after the race to prepare for the eighth round of the World Motocross Championship at Ernee in France this coming weekend.