Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1′s Clement Desalle is currently in his second phase of rehab after an operation last week to repair his damaged right shoulder that was dislocated in a crash mid-season. The Belgian was forced to miss the final three Grands Prix of the FIM Motocross World Championship after fracturing his left shoulder due to a crash in a national series event at Mol in August. Desalle, who claimed four victories, eight podiums and led the MX1 category up to round seven of 15 on the works RM-Z450, had the left limb plated and then waited before a final surgery on the right shoulder. Here he talks about the season, his recovery and plans for the future.
Clement, what is the status with the injuries and recovery?
“After the crash at Mol I had the operation on my left arm because it was fractured and needed surgery right away. Everything went well and I had a plate inserted and was able to start some physio soon afterwards. I then had to wait for the operation on the right shoulder. It was an arthroscopic procedure because the shoulder had been separated and was coming out easily. When the doctor looked inside he told me there was more damage than he thought with the ligament and tendon but he managed to clean it all up and now I have to wait three-to-four weeks before I can do anything. I have to be careful with the right shoulder but I can do things with the left now, no problem.”
What about a return to riding? What is the programme now?
“Well I am going on holiday for a week at the end of October and I doubt I will be riding before the end of November. I will see how my body feels because the shoulder injuries should mean a period of two-to-three months away from the bike. Obviously I want to make a full recovery and get into good shape before I get on the Suzuki but I am missing it already!”
What did you get up to during the forced hiatus? It must have been tough to deal with…
“The first few weeks were terrible. I didn’t know what to do. After a while I tried to do some different stuff to forget about the injury and what had happened. I bought an old jeep which I have been restoring and that has been quite good fun.”
What is your perspective now on 2011? It started so well and finished so badly…
“It is like you say. The season started well but I knew it would be a long year and in the end it would finish in such a disappointing way. The bad luck started at Tongeren and it was my mistake; I had to accept that. The shoulder was painful and weak but I started to come back to form and finally felt good again on the bike at Loket in the Czech Republic where I won the GP but then the accident at Mol happened. I went there with good intent. I was prepared. I wasn’t going to take risks but I was still focussed. The crash was not my fault and I have the opinion, like Sylvain [Geboers, Team Owner], that at these national events some riders could be a bit more careful or show some more respect on the track. We do a sport that is dangerous enough without having to worry about what the other guy is going to do.”
What is your feeling now about the Belgian Championship or non-Grand Prix events?
“I will not do it. I think it is easy to see that if you are pushing for the top five or three in the World that you have to have your priorities in the right place and for me now the World Championship is everything.”
What about your race-bike in 2011? Was everything going well? Will you need any alterations for 2012?
“I was really happy with the bike and I don’t think we have a big job ahead this winter. We will make some tests to try a few small things and look for any minor improvements but there will be no big shift. The bike was really good; I just need to concentrate on myself now!”