Belgian Suzuki rider Clement Desalle topped the MX1 podium on Sunday by winning the MX1 class of the annual Hawkstone Park International.
Estonian Tanel Leok (TM) finished runner-up overall and Desalle’s Suzuki team-mate Steve Ramon took the podium third step.
Britain’s Shaun Simpson finished fourth with fellow Brit Brad Anderson rounding out the top five.
With the FIM Motocross World Championship set to start in three weeks, many teams used the rough sand of English Hawkstone Park circuit for extra training and testing, particularly with a view towards the second Grand Prix of the season in similar terrain at Valkenswaard.
As seen in several pre-season events already, Desalle was in good form and negotiated the thinning Hawkstone surface to win both motos ahead of Leok with Ramon following behind on both occasions in third position. The Belgian then took fourth in the Superfinal after recovering from an early slip.
“The track was fun but also hard physically,” said Desalle. “I was happy for the good weather! The racing was close and I found a good line on the last lap of the first moto to pass Leok. I saw he was having a battle with Steve in the second race and I think the public enjoyed that one. For the Superfinal, I finished fourth.
“It was strange that the MX2 bikes had a head start; it meant the MX1 guys had a lot of traffic. I also crashed on the second corner so I had a lot of work to do to get near the front. It was a good day overall and for our last race before (the world champs opener in) Bulgaria.”
Britain’s Max Anstie won the superfinal feature race, finishing ahead of Ranmon, Simpson, Desalle and Leok.
In the MX2 class it was Britain’s Tommy Searle who dominated. He finished ahead of Swiss rider Anaud Tonus, Anstie, American Zach Osborne and flying Frenchman Valentin Teillet.
New Zealand’s Kayne Lamont had been due to race at this event but continuing problems with the processing of his visa meant he remained at home for a further weekend, a frustrated spectator at the New Zealand Motocross Championships round near Rotorua.
A weekend off was probably just want the young man from Mangakino needed, however, with a busy schedule awaiting him when he does arrive in the UK.
The racers now prepare for the opening Grand Prix of the year at Sevlievo in Bulgaria on April 10.
Photo courtesy Suzuki