A cloudy Uddevalla circuit was the site of an impressive one-two for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP as Clement Desalle secured his second pole position of the season ahead of Kevin Strijbos on the works RM-Z450s today.
The Grand Prix of Sweden represents round 12 of 17 in the FIM Motocross World Championship and a decent crowd found space around the new, reversed layout of the stony and loose soil north of Gothenburg for the first day of action.
Desalle capitalised on an excellent start to head Strijbos on the first lap and circulate at the front of a group that also included Steven Frossard and Antonio Cairoli. The Swedish terrain was slick and difficult, low on traction and notable for a lack of ruts and berms through the corners. Strijbos kept Desalle on his toes by shadowing his countryman closely throughout the 20 minute and two-lap duration. The 28 year old changed tyre compounds and a setting with his front forks after the first timed practice for an improved feeling through the slick turns but could not find a viable overtaking opportunity to relegate Desalle in the qualification sprint despite setting the fastest lap.
Desalle will now have first pick in the start gate for tomorrow’s two 30-minute and two-lap motos and with some rain forecast through the evening then the track could be more technical for the crucial part of the meeting.
“It is getting more and more important to have a good start at the GPs and that’s what I did today. I just tried to concentrate until the end and led the whole way through. It is only Saturday so if I had been passed then it would not have been a big problem. The track update is pretty good; as I have said it is nice to find something different. I’m focused on every moto and every start I take now and want to enjoy the bike as much as I can.”
“It was quite good today. A good jump out of the gate and I was second out of the first corner. I tried to pass Clement but made a big mistake so I then decided to find my rhythm and see what I could do. In some places I was faster than him and in others he was a bit quicker. In the end I tried to overtake but couldn’t make it happen. Anyway I’m happy with my riding and we figured out something good for the starts. I’m quite confident for the races.”
MXGP Qualification Heat result:
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP), 24:26.947;
2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP), +0:00.821;
3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:03.824;
4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:11.713;
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:24.809;
6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:28.079;
7. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:28.791;
8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:29.349;
9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:31.296;
10. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:39.493;
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