MotoCross > 2009 Round 01: Italy > Race Results
WMX Italy March 29, 2009
2009 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 01

Desalle and LS Motors Honda Take Podium in Faenza

LS Honda’s Clement Desalle gave Honda their first podium result of the FIM 2009 MX1 Motocross World Championship with a fine third place finish at a soaking wet Monte Coralli circuit in Faenza, Italy the first round of the 15 round series. Tanel Leok scored the victory while Ken de Dycker was second.

Carlos Checa  Riyuichi Kiyonari

Clement Desalle

Clement Desalle

The results were taken after a difficult first moto in which the riders’ struggled to complete laps on the swamp of a track where the steep hill-side sections were especially problematic. The FIM cancelled the second motos of both the MX1 and MX2 classes as the rainfall showed no signs of abating and the safety of the course was questionable.

Honda’s best performer with the new fuel-injected CRF450R was Belgian Desalle, who managed to keep his LS Motors Honda machine upright for the majority of the 35 minutes and 2 laps and came close to securing runner-up spot until being demoted by Ken De Dycker on the final circulation.

After presenting their factory teams to the media on Saturday evening, Honda Motor Europe representatives must have been hoping for a kinder first meeting for the new 2009 MX1 machine and rider line-up.

Martin Honda’s Marc de Reuver led the race for four laps until he lost control on a hill and jammed his fallen machine against a pipe at the side of the track. He lost time restarting and would complete the moto four laps down in 14th. Team-mate Kevin Strijbos (who twisted his right knee in a dry Saturday practice) was making his first appearance in ‘red’ and had a positive race until the final stages. The Belgian, twice world championship runner-up, was mid-pack on the first lap but diligently rode to 7th and looked set for that position until he too also faced an insurmountable climb and had to retire.

CAS Honda’s Cedric Melotte was another debutant and struggled in the conditions, meeting a similar fate to De Reuver and collected just one point for 20th. Billy Mackenzie was haunting the top five before he hit a sodden patch of terrain and his motorcycle almost sank in the quagmire. He needed four marshals to help him restart, but he was far down the order and finished outside of the points in 21st.

In the MX2 class Marvin Musquin – riding for Nouvelle Generation Sport Honda – took his 250F to a first rostrum appearance with third overall behind winner Gautier Paulin and Jeremy Van Horebeek. The French teenager resisted the perils presented by the conditions to mark a career-best, and the first MX2 podium for Honda since 2007.

The single moto rankings in MX1 and MX2 formulates the early championship standings but a clearer picture of who the protagonists will be in this open and competitive 2009 campaign will be known in the next two weeks with consecutive races now on the schedule.

Round two of the championship will take place in seven days at the Sevlievo circuit in Bulgaria followed by the GP of Turkey on April 12.

 Gregorio Lavilla Andrew Pitt

Mark DeRuever

Billy MacKenzie

Clement Desalle, LS Motors Honda:
“This is my first podium but the conditions were really difficult. We have done some tests with the bike and we are now really happy with the Honda. My goal is to be near the top in MX1 and also to stay free from injury; this is important because I know the results will then get better.”

Kevin Strijbos, Martin Honda:
“Yesterday’s practice was already hard as I twisted my knee. I took a painkiller and also taped it up and it was OK. I made a good start but had a problem with my tear-offs so I had to stop and was dead-last. I worked hard to come through and reached fifth place when I then had trouble with the hill on the last lap. I tried again and again to get up; I must have made ten attempts! In the end it was impossible and I was really angry. For sure cancelling the second moto was a good move and perhaps the first one should have been stopped. I understand that it might have been good entertainment for the crowd but for the riders it was not racing.”

Marc de Reuver, Martin Honda:
“I didn’t win the lottery today! I was doing well and it looked like it might be mine but I went sideways on a hill and the bike’s footpeg got caught on the pipe for the sprinkler system. I then had so much mud on the hand grips that I could not turn the throttle. I had to get some of the bannering at the side of the track to clean the bars. This GP was worse than Spain last year; the track was tougher in those conditions.”

Billy Mackenzie, CAS Honda:
“I was getting filled in everywhere and there was no dodging the roost. I had a standard seat on the bike and it was impossible to stay on it; I was ‘superman’ everywhere when I got on the gas. I approached a hill and veered to the left and got stuck. It was so deep I could not move. It took four guys to fish the bike out. Everything was covered in mud, so I did my best to try and make the finish. It is a bit of a nightmare start to the season, as it is for a few other people I guess. I am very happy they cancelled the second moto. I think today was the most ridiculous thing I have ever done. The mud was so thick it was sticking to the bike and making it really heavy. Perhaps the results from the first moto should not have even counted because so many people were cutting the track and there was a lot of outside assistance.”

Cedric Melotte, CAS Honda:
“It was a crazy race and I think the cancellation was the best thing to do. It was hard to know what could possibly happen. Even getting a good start did not necessarily mean a good result. I got stuck trying to get up a hill and it took me nearly two laps to get free. I pulled in to change my goggles and my gloves and worked hard for the next five to six laps but burned the clutch. I took a few points at least and I am still anxious to get a good finish.”

Roger Harvey, Off-road Co-ordinator, Honda Motor Europe:
“Desalle’s result was great, the conditions were very difficult but you have to keep going to make those positions. Regarding the factory boys, De Reuver looked good for a long time but a couple of mistakes meant he lost so much ground. Kevin tweaked his knee a little bit yesterday so it was hard to know what he could do but he got better as the race went on; just a shame about that error on the last lap. Billy was climbing up and up but similar to a beach race he picked one area and got completely stuck. Cedric was the same. In MX2 Marvin is obviously a rider with a lot of talent and someone we tried to help as much as we could last year and also this season. He showed what he could do in unbelievable circumstances so that was a good result from him.”

2009 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 01 Italy

MX1 - Race 1 Result
1 LEOK, Tanel / Yamaha Red Bull De Carli Team / KTM
2 DE DYCKER, Ken / Team TEKA Suzuki World MX1 / Suzuki
3 DESALLE, Clement / LS Motors Honda / Honda
4 LEOK, Aigar / TM Racing Factory Team / TM
5 CAIROLI, Antonio / Yamaha Red Bull De Carli Team / Yamaha
6 COPPINS, Joshua / Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross Team / Yamaha
7 NAGL, Maximilian / Red Bull KTM Factory Racing / KTM
9 PHILIPPAERTS, David / Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross Team / Yamaha
10 BARRAGAN, Jonathan / KTM Silver Action / KTM
12 RAMON, Steve / Team TEKA Suzuki World MX1 / Suzuki
13 SWANEPOEL, Gareth / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki
14 DE REUVER, Marc / Team Martin Honda MX / Honda
15 BILL, Julien / Aprilia Racing / Aprilia
 Carlos Checa

Clement Desalle

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