Victories around Europe – Preparing for Valkenswaard
By Geoff Meyer | 02 Mar 2012
With major International races in Italy, England and France last weekend many of the leading Grand Prix riders were able to race against their Grand Prix rivals. At Hawkstone Park in England it was Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 rider Clement Desalle who took victory, while in Lacapelle, France, local rider Christophe Pourcel took the overall win.
In the opening round of the International Italian Championship Monster Energy Yamaha rider Steven Frossard proved too strong for World MX1 Champion Antonio Cairoli. The three winners MX1 exploits on the weekend proved that they will be three of the favorites in this years FIM World MX1 Championship.
In the MX2 classes over the weekend it was Jeffrey Herlings winning in Italy, Tommy Searle taking victory in France and Arnaud Tonus who had success in England.
Clement Desalle, who is considered the biggest threat to Cairoli in the FIM World MX1 Championship, is looking forward to getting to Valkenswaard, Holland on Easter Monday to show that his pre-season preparation has been worthwhile.
"The race was a good preparation for the season. Together with Paulin, I think we had some exciting races. I feel good on the bike and I'm happy that my shoulders are doing well: I found some issues, however, that I can still work on in my preparation towards the first GP in Valkenswaard."
As for 2006 FIM World MX2 Champion Christophe Pourcel, he knows that the hard pack in France isn’t the perfect circuit for preparing for the deep sand of Valkenswaard, but he enjoyed his first time out in 2012.
“The track in Lacapelle was perfect, it was technical with deep ruts, slippery during the third heat and for us it was a good test for the bike. We had already fixed good settings, and I got the best lap in the timed practice session. Now I will not do any race before the first GP. We’ll go testing on different tracks to be ready for Valkenswaard.”
Monster Energy CLS Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider Tommy Searle will head to Oss in Holland this weekend to race Jeffrey Herlings in the sand, but just like Pourcel, he was happy to get a race under his belt before racing in the sand.
“I’m really happy with my speed, and I think that I’m fit and strong and it was a good race on Sunday. There’s a long time before the first GP but I’m confident; I was happy with my riding today. Now I will go to The Netherlands to do some sand riding before the first GP. We have to see with the team which races I will do before Valkenswaard.”
The FIM World MX2 favorite Herlings had plenty to smile about when he won in Italy. The difficulties of racing against the MX1 bikes in Italy didn’t dampen his enthusiasm.
“I really liked it in Italy; it was a brand new track for me. I won the MX2 race and I finished third when we rode together with the MX1 guys and that was also alright. I had a crash in the second race, otherwise maybe I might have been able to stay in the front but it happened and I am not making any excuses. Anyway I am really happy with my riding and I think it is already a big improvement on last year.”
Photo: Clement Desalle - Ian Roxburg image
Read the next news: New video on MUD, FIM Motocross World Championship available (29 Feb 2012)
Back to the latest news