Rockstar Energy Suzuki's Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos both showed an excellent form in their maiden race for 2014, both pulling-off race victories aboard their RM-Z450s at Lacapelle-Marival in France on Sunday.
After the International race of Valence was cancelled the week before, and bad weather hitting the region in the past couple of weeks, the organisers were able to provide an excellent track; even covering the entire circuit with plastic sheeting the days before the event.
After setting some decent lap times in the morning, Strijbos ‰ÛÒ who is coming back from a recent pelvis-injury - took the holeshot in the first heat and led from start to finish, with team mate Desalle second.
In the second heat, Desalle pulled off the perfect scenario of leading from start to finish. Strijbos didn't have the great start but worked his way past Frossard and was gaining ground on Desalle. After feeling a slight pain in his groin, however, he decided to give his heavily worked muscles an easier time and finished fifth.
Desalle dominated the third and final heat, taking the overall win with Davide Guarnieri (TM) in second and fellow Suzuki team rider Markus Schiffer in third.
"Today went well." Desalle stated. "I feel comfortable on my bike again after my shoulder injury from the ‰Û÷Nations.
"This was just the first race and it's good to see the speed is there, but the real challenge will be next week in Qatar. We have been working to do well there! "
To avoid overloading his muscles, Strijbos opted not to start in the third heat in order to be fit and ready for the first Grand Prix in Qatar this coming weekend.
"I'm quite surprised actually." Strijbos commented. "I have only been back on my bike for little over a week now and it's hard to judge your speed when you're alone on tracks in Spain and south of France for training, so I'm quite happy to see I have a pretty good pace at the moment.
"I have to watch out a little with my pelvis injury, it's ok, but I sometimes feel it and don't want to overdo it just before the beginning of the season.'
Top Image: Clemet Desalle scored a pre-season win in France
Credit: Suzuki Racing