Clement Desalle sailed to his first pole position of the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship today at a rainy British Grand Prix and round eight of 17.
The Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP rider was unchallenged on his RM-Z450 after seizing the lead from the first corner and riding to a comfortable victory in the qualification heat.
Matterley Basin, near the ancient capital of Winchester, saw rolling clouds and occasional showers batter the natural amphitheatre with its flowing layout and big jumps. The English mud had already been softened after some heavy rainfall on Friday and the terrain was rutty, tacky and with plenty of line choice.
Desalle won the 2013 round of the Grand Prix at the same venue and immediately got back into the groove, taking the fastest time in the first chrono and then the Qualification Heat later in the afternoon.
Kevin Strijbos lacked his team-mate’s confidence on the Matterley bumps and could not move-up from a lower top-10 position in the 20 minute and two-lap sprint; the Belgian ending the day with ninth place and the same gate-slot for tomorrow.
Good weather is predicted for the Grand Prix motos on Sunday.
“I was feeling great right from the morning. My start was good, I enjoyed the race and now I have the best-pick for tomorrow. I’m a rider who when he enjoys the track and the bike, then you will see it directly; and that was what happened today. Sometimes the tracks are not that easy but here, there were lines to choose and I think if we have some good weather tomorrow then the racing will be really nice.”
“It was a pretty-bad day. I didn't have a good feeling on the track from the first practice and couldn’t do much from ninth position in the Heat race. It is a new day tomorrow so I will try to take a good start and do much better.”
MXGP Qualification Heat result:
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 25:24.695;
2. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:16.010;
3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:20.303;
4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Honda), +0:20.602;
5. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.668;
6. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +0:35.778;
7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:40.520;
8. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:41.721;
9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), +0:53.405;
10. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +0:56.794
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