After enjoying a break of six Grands Prix in seven weeks, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 now faces one of the toughest events of the season with its home event – round 11 of 15 in the FIM Motocross World Championship – in the sand of Lommel for the GP of Limburg this weekend.
Clement Desalle – second in the MX1 standings, winner of three meetings so far; and holder of six podium trophies – took a week’s break away from the factory RM-Z450 Suzuki in order to let his badly-cut left forefinger heal and also gain a bit more strength in the shoulder he dislocated last month. “I had one week of staying away from the bike because I had to let a couple of things heal-up and get better but I was still doing some training and exercise. For sure Lommel is a hard GP so I had to think about that,” he said. “We are doing some riding this week in the sand to make sure we are ready for the weekend.
“It will be tough at Lommel but it will be the same for everyone,” he added. “I took a podium last year but I don’t want to think about results before a race anymore. I just have to take each day as it comes.”
Desalle may consider a repeat of his rostrum placing of 2010 at Lommel – where he was 3rd – a decent day’s work and continue the team’s good track record on home turf where it’s been part of the podium ceremony each year, toasting victory in 2009.
Lommel has been a draw for the wide motocross community located in the region of the country, and indeed Europe, for a number of years. It has been part of the FIM MX1 calendar each year since 2008. The flat course and twirling sand is renowned for its hard, physical demands even if the terrain is not the deepest to be found in the area. Lommel will be a little more under the microscope this weekend after being recently confirmed as the site of the 2012 Motocross of Nations next summer.
Steve Ramon – eighth in the MX1 class – is still searching for his first silverware of the 2011 campaign and if he manages to climb the box this weekend then it will be his first at Lommel, after fifth, fourth and eighth positions in the last three years.
“I was fast but had a couple of crashes at Lommel last year so my aim will be to do better than that. Of course I know the track well and riding the sand can be tough but it is nothing out of the ordinary for me,” said the 2011 Le Touquet Beach Race winner. “We went riding three times over the last week and I’m looking forward to the weekend. I feel confident I can take my first podium of the year.”
The current weather forecast for the weekend is not fantastic with cloudy conditions and showers predicted for both Saturday and Sunday.
MX1 World Championship standings (after 10 of 15 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 416 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 374 p.; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 370 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 334 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 311 p.; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 282 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 281 p.; 8. Steve Ramon (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 229 p.; 9. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), 228 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 215 p.