DESALLE RACES TO 3RD IN HOT FRENCH MX1 QUALIFIER2010-06-05 08:24
The sun was out again just one week after the Grand Prix of USA and graced proceedings at St Jean D'Angely for the seventh round of 15 in the 2010 FIM MX1 World Championship.
The French Grand Prix saw Rockstar Teka Suzuki's Clement Desalle take third position in the Qualification Heat with team-mate Steve Ramon securing fourth place on the factory RM-Z450WS.
After a hectic scramble back to Europe after the meeting in California last weekend, similar temperatures greeted the MX1 riders in western France and an altered hard-pack St Jean course still provided its usual test between corners with deep, solid ruts and slippery top soil.
Belgians Desalle and Ramon worked throughout the day on refining their set-up; Ramon opting for different gearing and suspension tweaks while both used a Pirelli tyre for the hard-pack. Ramon, competing at the place where he scored his first moto victory for Suzuki, marked the fastest time in Pre-Qualification and then started inside the top seven alongside Desalle in the 20 minute Heat race.
The two RM-Z pilots pushed up the order together and eventually crossed the finish line in front of a mammoth crowd with third and fourth places. Late afternoon cloud removed the sunshine with even showers predicted for race-day.
"The track is not so fun and even dangerous in some places. I don't think the changes here work. Anyway I took the first free practice just to get used to the track and I felt pretty tired after coming back from the USA. I had a bad night's sleep and wasn't really that alert in the morning. I made a quick lap in the last 10 minutes of pre-qualifying and then in the race I made an average start but could come back to third and that was OK for Saturday."
"I had a good feeling straight away from the first practice. Timed practice was good and when I pushed, I went really fast. My start was good but I made some mistakes in the heat race. I could follow Clement without a problem and from mid-distance I took it easy because I knew my position was fine for the start gate. I am getting better; fast laps come easier but I know perhaps I am still not 100% for a full moto. I would love a podium here but it will be difficult."
MX1 Qualification Heat Classification: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:28.968; 2. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.162; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1), +0:17.137; 4. Steve Ramon (BEL, Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1), +0:21.899; 5. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Honda), +0:28.837; 6. Anthony Boissiere (FRA, TM), +0:32.262; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:33.586; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:40.881; 9. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:44.389; 10. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:44.871.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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