The Grand Prix of Bulgaria at the Sevlievo circuit and the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship is the next challenge in store for the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 team this weekend.
The series kicks up a gear with the trip east as the Italian stop on the 16-race schedule follows hard upon it and gives the Belgian factory crew with the Suzuki RM-Z450s two hard-pack terrains to contend with in the next fortnight.
Clement Desalle (22) goes to the award-winning hilly layout having finished second at a wet Holland last week and with decent ‘previous’ at the venue, scoring 2nd and 1st positions in the motos in 2011. The Belgian also breached the top three in 2010 on the RM-Z450 and is chasing a 100% record in Bulgaria. “The podium at Valkenswaard was a good way to start the season even if I would have preferred a win!” Desalle said. “I’ve been doing some hard-pack riding this week and I feel happy going to Bulgaria.
“We had a good Grand Prix there last year but the track will be difficult to judge because it can either be dry and hard or wet and bumpy. A lot will depend on the weather and the terrain that we find,” he added.
The facilities and course at Sevlievo are of such a standard that the site opened the FIM Motocross World Championship in 2010 and ’11. Normally fast and flowing with overtaking possibilities at the top and bottom of the long hillside straights, Sevlievo also has some spectacular jumps and has produced some exciting and close racing over the past few years and since it was inaugurated in 2002.
Tanel Leok endured a hard weekend in Valkenswaard due to problems with his arm and leg. The Estonian has been recovering over the past week and is anticipating his second outing on the works RM-Z450. “Every day it has been getting better,” said Leok, who is currently ninth in the standings. “My arm already feels stronger and I’m encouraged by the state of the leg and ankle. It feels a bit stronger and that gives me hope for the weekend. I think the track will be good for me. It really depends on how it changes through Saturday and Sunday and how tight and rough and the amount of bumps that come through.”
The early weather forecast for the weekend predicts cloudy, cool and rainy conditions.
MX1 World Championship standings: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 44 p.; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 40 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 32 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 31 p.; 6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 31 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 29 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 23 p.; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 22 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 20 p.