Sevlievo GP of Bulgaria Race Report - Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1

Clement Desalle might have walked the podium at Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria and his third trophy of the FIM Motocross World Championship but his double moto battle with Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 team-mate Kevin Strijbos was the highlight of this fifth round of 17.

Sevlievo was hard-pack, ample and fast meaning the slightest mistake was costly and creating, or eroding, any differences on other riders was extremely tricky due to the closeness of the lap-times. Both Desalle and Strijbos - on their works RM-Z450 - gave an excellent demonstration of the character of the hilly circuit that was crowded by 22,000 spectators.

In the first moto it was Strijbos who slotted into second position and had Desalle as a shadow for virtually the entire 35 minute and two-lap distance. The pair formation-flew until Desalle 'switched off' for two circulations, made an error and was victim to an emerging gap to the #22. A renewed effort was finally rewarded with an overtaking move for #25 but Strijbos replied instantly and was then able to control the duel until the finish line for his best race finish in 'yellow' and since coming back to the factory set-up.

Desalle had the initiative in the second moto. This time it was the younger Belgian who had to play the role of being the 'hunted' in what was a tussle for third spot. Strijbos was handicapped by faulty goggles that affected his vision but still showed his team-mate a front wheel on several occasions. By the chequered flag it was Desalle's second moto classification that decided the final rostrum as the duo tied on points and Strijbos had to feel content with fourth overall.

Both Suzuki riders pocketed a tidy bag of numbers for their world championship standing. In the MX1 points table Desalle holds third and is six points off second place. Strijbos is fifth. The FIM Motocross World Championship will gather again in two weeks time for the Grand Prix of Portugal at the customary venue of Agueda, south of Porto.

Clement Desalle:

"I'm happy to take my first podium in Europe! I had some bad luck in the last two grands prix and I was disappointed about that so it feels good to be back. I had some good starts and I'm happy about that and was with Kevin for most the day. Some moves were really close and we had to be careful! It was a good battle for sure and we rode together for almost every lap. I tried some stuff to pass him in the first moto but then had two laps of making mistakes and he made a gap. I concentrated again and got close and then passed him but he came straight back; I didn't expect him to come so close. Anyway, no crashes, good fighting and this result feels good."

Kevin Strijbos:

"It was good today. I got most of it right in the first race; at the end my team-mate passed me and I could get him right back, so I was happy with that. In the second race I felt OK, got a good start but Tony ran wide, hit the berm and I had to slow down a little bit so not to hit him. I was fourth and stayed there the whole time! I was pushing hard but on the fifth lap a rock hit my goggle and the lens popped out, and that was about it. I couldn't get close to Clement and every time I did I had sand in my face and it was flying around when I was going over the jumps. I wasn't happy about that but overall it has been a good weekend. I had good speed for the podium and now I'll work a bit more to try and make it happen in Portugal."

MX1 Moto1: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 40:14.945; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:04.689; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:06.006; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:30.205; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:35.733; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:40.606; 7. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:45.322; 8. David Philippaerts (ITA, Honda), +0:52.735; 9. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:05.573; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +1:14.625.

MX1 Moto2: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:00.784; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.888; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:07.415; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), +0:08.501; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:40.876; 6. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:44.408; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:47.683; 8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:48.078; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Honda), +0:56.418; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +1:01.838.

MX1 Overall result: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 47 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 43 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 40 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 40 p.; 5. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), 29 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 29 p.; 7. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 28 p.; 8. David Philippaerts (ITA, Honda), 25 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 25 p.; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), 22 p

MX1 World Championship Standings (after 5 of 17 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 235 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 195 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 189 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 183 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1), 160 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 147 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 109 p.; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 100 p.; 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), 90 p.; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 87 p.

Tags: sevlievo gp, gp of bulgaria, clement desalle, kevin strijbos

Rockstar Pure Zero

Social Feed

10 hours ago: How about some Pure Zero for your afternoon pick-me-up? #ThirstyThursday #RockstarEnergyModels http://t.co/wLYtPH5u47 see full story

10 hours ago: How about some Pure Zero for your afternoon pick-me-up? #ThirstyThursday #RockstarEnergyModels see full story

13 hours ago: Watch the rest at http://bit.ly/13hCbcy! #ErikRonerLifted | Erik Roner see full story

13 hours ago: 50 helium tanks, over 90 balloons & @Erikroner. This was bound to happen! http://t.co/cF5Doslmh8 #ErikRonerLifted see full story

14 hours ago: Alex Bellemare is up for #DewTour Breckenridge Toyota Athlete of the Year! Give him a vote at http://t.co/7VjuGlaAeI! http://t.co/BCXPvgxe93 see full story

14 hours ago: @akajasonanthony We forgive you! see full story

14 hours ago: @skubiedoobydoo What's going on this week? see full story

16 hours ago: How about a @Team_Associated RC car to bring out your inner child this holiday season? http://t.co/xcJmEqxqnK http://t.co/Do0mcxeHOK see full story

16 hours ago: How about a Team Associated RC car to bring out your inner child this holiday season? Cick here: http://win.rockstarenergy.com/12days/ see full story

1 day ago: We're hitting the road with The Devil Wears Prada on the #Zombie5Tour where they will be playing their Zombie EP in it's entirety. Tickets on sale this... see full story

2 days ago: Erik Roner going UP tomorrow at http://youtube.com/rockstar! see full story

2 days ago: Action sports movie buff? Gift #5 is for you. Click here: http://win.rockstarenergy.com/12days Includes DÉJÀ VU Movie, Horgasm, Shredbots the Movie, and... see full story