Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Clement Desalle won the Trentino MXGP in Italy this weekend at the fourth round of the FIM World Motocross Championship.

It was the Belgian’s first victory of the season and it was in front of 25,000 European spectators, all hungry for their first taste of high-level motocross action of 2014.

Desalle was faultless on the toughest racing surface of the year so far and he stormed to a second place finish in race one and a first place finish in race two.


Using 2015 RM-Z450 engine power as well as a new chassis, Desalle was able to find traction and confidence in the trying race conditions of the Italian circuit. He followed Gautier Paulin in the first moto and set-up the first result of the day with a largely unchallenged run. The second race was exhilarating, as mistakes by the likes of Jeremy Van Horebeek and Tony Cairoli, and a mechanical problem by Paulin, saw four riders disputing first place. It was Desalle who held firm and his first chequered flag of 2014 led to a maiden triumph of the campaign.

Desalle said: “I came here relaxed and had a good feeling on the track. The races were good and I had some decent starts. I was second throughout the first moto and it was hard to make the difference here. I came back on Gautier Paulin sometimes, but I would then make some small mistakes to lose some time; it went like that all the way through. It was easy to make a mistake on this track but I’m really happy with how it worked out today.

“The season did not start how I expected, but I was feeling better in Thailand. I don’t have pain in my shoulder and feel good on the Suzuki. I don’t know if I am 100% yet but I am close.”

Joining him on the podium in race two, was his team-mate Kevin Strijbos, who earned his first piece of silverware of 2014. His podium in race two, resulted in him finishing the GP overall on the box; again in third place.

Strijbos was optimistic for Sunday despite a difficult qualification race on Saturday, which left the veteran searching for optimum set-up. He was able to reach the top five in the first moto, only just without the extra-speed to make the difference and threaten the top four. Strijbos withheld an attack from Tony Cairoli in the final stages and repeated the feat ahead of the World Champion in the second moto to log third position. It was a vindication of the former championship runner-up’s belief after some testing Grands Prix so far in 2014.

Kevin said: “I had two good races today despite the fact that it was far from easy; I struggled to find my rhythm and speed on this track. I made two good starts and put my head down in both motos. I’m happy that I reached the podium. After the last GP we changed some stuff and I’ve been riding a bit more; all that work has paid off.”

The results in Italy this weekend mean that Desalle now retains 158 points in the MXGP World Championship standings; a gap of 17 to points leader Cairoli and a gap of four over Van Horebeek. Strijbos is sixth.

The Rockstar Energy Suzuki team will return to racing next weekend, at the Grand Prix of Bulgaria for the fifth round of the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship.