DESALLE CHASES FIFTH PODIUM AT FRENCH MX12010-06-02 07:35
Four podiums from six rounds, including one victory, is not a bad return for Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 rider Clement Desalle who has also had to deal with a right shoulder dislocation. The injury at round three in Holland and his absence in the classification for the Dutch GP means that the 20 year old Belgian would most certainly be chasing Antonio Cairoli hard in the MX1 World Championship point-standings as round seven of the FIM series at St Jean D'Angely looms this weekend.
The Grand Prix of France is set to occur at the impressive venue east of La Rochelle near the coast and Desalle will steer his factory RM-Z450WS in anger for the first time at the hillside circuit, just one week after sealing third position at the USGP in the climes of California.
The close proximity of the flyaway to the meeting in France means that the riders and teams will be fighting fatigue from the long travelling distance heading into the Grand Prix. Desalle will be buoyed by the podium at Glen Helen and indeed the positive results since swiftly returning to fitness after his shoulder mishap. The 2009 Belgian Champion moved up to third in the World Championship after last Sunday and needs 22 to overhaul Max Nagl. "Just one week after the USA this might be a tough GP," said Desalle. "St Jean could be quite different this year. It is a strange track, very narrow in places and the ground is stony with that weird sand section at the top."
Steve Ramon has finished second (2007) and fourth (2008) at the last two Grand Prix events to be held at the hard-pack course of St Jean. The venue itself is set to host the 2011 Motocross of Nations - a competition it entertained in 2000 - and has now undergone modifications thanks to the expert opinion of former Suzuki 250cc World Champion on the RM250, Mickael Pichon.
"I really like St Jean," said Ramon who gained his first moto victory for Suzuki (the fourth of his career) there in 2007. "I don't know why but I have always had some good results there. It is pretty fast with hard ground and could be slippery in the rain. The atmosphere is normally good because the spectators are around the track and they crowd the hill opposite."
Ramon scored a steady a fifth at Glen Helen and is in the process of working up to the excellent speed and form he was enjoying before an unfortunate spill in qualification for the Grand Prix of Portugal last month. The former World Champion and the only rider to give the RM-Z450 an MX1 world title so far is sixth in the standings but only 11 points from fourth.
The weather forecast for the weekend predicts cloudy conditions for Saturday with brighter and sunnier skies for Sunday. At 15-16 degrees, the average temperatures should be half that of the USGP last weekend.
MX1 World Championship standings (after 6 of 15 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 259 points; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 218 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1), 196 p.; 4. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 184 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Yamaha), 174 p.; 6. Steve Ramon (BEL, Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1), 173 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 167 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Honda), 135 p.; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 115 p.; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Honda), 111 p.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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