After three busy meetings in France, Portugal and Belgium the FIM Motocross World Championship was able to surface for air briefly over the past week and now resumes for round nine of 16 this weekend with the Grand Prix of Sweden at the traditional venue of Uddevalla, as Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 has seen Clement Desalle claim first and second positions in the last two races and move back to second spot in the MX1 standings.
The Belgian has spent the small break following his training programme and also taking part in some more tests on his factory RM-Z450. “Last Wednesday we did some work with the suspension and also with the engine and gear ratios. We made progress and I’m keen to do some further riding and develop these settings. We need to see how we feel on a couple of different tracks. Other than that it was good to have a few days doing some training and sport without having to worry about packing, preparing and travelling.”
The trip to Sweden will be made in better circumstances than last year in which Desalle entered the Grand Prix seven days after dislocating his right shoulder and was forced to concede control of the MX1 class he had been leading for five rounds until that point. The 23 year old might be aiming for at least a repeat of his 2010 performance where he went 2-2 in the motos at Uddevalla for second overall.
“I’ve been racing at Uddevalla since 2006 and it can be a tricky track with hard terrain that is slippery in places. It depends on what we find and how well the ground is prepared.”
The GP hiatus allowed Tanel Leok to participate in the second round of the Belgian Championship at Kester where he finished fourth overall in muddy conditions. “I went 5-3 in the two races which was OK because the conditions were really bad; the second moto was good and I was pleased to be able to finish third,” the Estonian said. “The biggest factor I need to improve for the second half of the season is my speed at the beginning of the race. I don’t know really what I’m doing out there. My race pace is not bad and I should be higher up the leaderboard but I’m suffering in the first few laps at the moment and really need to work on this.
‘Uddevalla is alright,” he added. “It is an old type of track with various features. As always a good start will be important and more so this season because all the riders are so good and you cannot give anyone a head start.”
Uddevalla is one of the few circuits to remain ever-present on the Championship calendar since the creation of the MX1 and MX2 classes in 2004. The slippery terrain mixes hard-pack sections and those with loose dirt in the same lap. The layout has a bit of everything with slow, tight turns and faster curves, undulations and several big table-top jumps.
The long-term forecast for the weekend predicts showery but warm temperatures.
MX1 World Championship Standings (after 8 of 16 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 345 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 298 p.; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 292 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 289 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 237 p.; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 212 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 211 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 207 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 169 p.; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 168 p.