Clement Desalle Looks Forward to AMA Nationals
News Thursday 23th July 2009 By Tom Jacobs
The CRF450R-mounted top privateer left his native Belgium at four in the morning on Monday just hours after his most recent success at Nismes, where Clément won the third race of the Belgian championship.
Twenty-year old Desalle will make his American debut in Washougal, after plans of racing an AMA National in 2008 were shelved last minute. Desalle, nicknamed ‘MX Panda’, has made a name for himself on the GP scene this season with his speed, determination and work ethics.
Whilst many Honda riders have struggled in the MX1 World Championship so far the Belgian has gone from strength to strength racking up four overall podium finishes, one pole position and one heat win.
Clément is currently fourth after 11 GP’s making him the first Belgian in standings and thus a favourite to claim his first ever selection in the MX of Nations team managed by Joël Smets. In fact Smets was the last top rider from Belgium to race in a National (Southwick, 2001).
Clément Desalle, LS Motors-Honda comments
“When we looked at the calendar we found out that Washougal was the perfect opportunity to race in the US. I can’t tell you how stoked I am to be here! It’s definitely a childhood dream coming true to ride such a great track and against these guys. Whenever I could this year I followed the livestream on the internet on Saturday night and it was interesting to follow.
"Especially to see someone like Christophe Pourcel who I had raced in amateurs in France. As a kid I always admired Chad Reed for his style and skill on a bike so it’s going to be really cool to line up with him at the start! Normally I will race a stock bike with some LS Motors’ bits on it: the Showa suspension, Doma pipe and Renthal handlebars. It’s not super trick compared to some of the factory stuff, but if you have a bike that works well and is dialled in for you, it’s possible to get good results that’s what I’ve proven in GP’s.
"As far as results are concerned I don’t want to make a prediction. I know that sounds a bit lame, but it doesn’t mean a thing anyway. It’s about what you bring on the track. I’m just going to do my best and try to enjoy the experience!”
LS Motors-Honda’s American guest rider Ashley Fiolek will also return to race action in Washougal after a four-week hiatus from racing in Thunder Valley-Colorado. The Red Bull-Honda factory rider is currently leading the WMA series with 247 points, while Jessica Patterson is second with 198 points.
Out of ten heats ‘Kickash’ won all of them except one...
Fiolek says: “I was so bummed after my second moto at Hangtown because I wanted to win every moto, but it is part of the race and everyone is out here to win! Whatever happens....happens! I just want to ride my race and have fun and be smart.”
The Washougal MX Park in Soutwest Washington has been on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross circuit for the past 28 years. Track owners Ralph and Carolyn Huffman have played an integral part in making the facility one of the premier stops on the tour. The lush scenery of the track provides a dream setting not only for racing, but also for photo and video shoots. The promotional materials shot by the manufacturers at the track make Washougal even more iconic. Excellent viewing conditions, impressive elevation changes and high speeds have certainly helped its popularity with the fans.