Belgium’s Clement Desalle saw his 2015 MXGP title aspirations take a hit with a fall in practice for the French round almost two weeks ago leading to a partial and minor dislocation of his left shoulder, but he hopes to be back on the podium at round nine of 18 in Italy this weekend.
The Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider had to withdraw from both motos at Villars-sous-Écot in France and has since been rehabbing the joint and attending physio to be able to compete at Maggiora in Italy this weekend.
The good news was that Desalle would not need an operation on the shoulder but the 26 year old has been in a plight to regain strength and confidence in his upper body – as well as recover from a blow to his right knee – to be able to consider racing at Maggiora and perhaps challenge series leaders Max Nagl (Germany, Husqvarna) and Antonio Cairoli (Italy, KTM).
“I am working with the physio and also at my place to improve my shoulder and it is going step-by-step. My knee is also difficult too,” Desalle said.
Team PR co-ordinator Jo De Munck added: “Clement has been pretty sore the last week, but he has been doing some mountain-bike and cycling which has been going well.
“He will do an extensive motorbike training session, which will be the biggest indicator for his fitness. But for now both Clement and the team see no reason why he wouldn’t be able to take the start in Italy. ”
Twelve months ago Desalle was at the heart of an intense battle for victory at Maggiora. The circuit has not been the luckiest of locations for the rider who suffered an electrical problem while on the fringe of a win in 2013 and then crashed off the side of a jump last year that led to a wrist injury that would ultimately end his 2014 campaign.
Also on the comeback path will be team-mate Kevin Strijbos. The Belgian has been resting and convalescing from a painful thumb but in the last two weeks has stepped-up his riding routine and won the first moto at the popular Kester round of the Belgian national series last weekend.
Maggiora hosts the Italian Grand Prix for the third year in a row and the long hills and undulations of the famous course provide a tight and tricky challenge.
The terrain is largely hard-pack with only one or two line variations on many of the switchback, 180 corners. The layout is home to some spectacular leaps and the first steep climb after the third turn is normally packed with fans creating almost a ‘stadium setting’.
After two editions with good weather the forecast for the weekend currently does not look so promising with copious rainfall predicted for Saturday and then more damp conditions for Sunday.
Photo courtesy Ray Archer
MXGP World Championship Standings (after 8 of 18 rounds):
1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 332 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 313 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 291 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 282 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 252 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 247 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 169 p.; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 138 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 134 p.; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 133 p. 17. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 78 p.
MX2 World Championship Standings (after 8 of 18 rounds):
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 358 points; 2. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 246 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 245 p.; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 229 p.; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 218 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 209 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 208 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 205 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 184 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 183 p.