News 30 Sep 2009

World MX: Desalle will join Ramon at Suzuki for 2010 season

New Belgian Champion and the emerging star from the 2009 FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship, Clement Desalle, will join Steve Ramon in the Teka Suzuki World MX1 team for the 2010 campaign.

The 20-year-old Belgian will become a factory rider with the RM-Z450 for the first time in his career and will work alongside Ramon who enters his fifth season with the Belgian team next year.

Desalle, from La Louvière, near Charleroi, made his Grand Prix debut in 2006 and in the 2008 MX1 World Championship gained 11th position in the final standings before establishing his name and potential with some stylish and fast performances in 2009; a season in which he rose to third in the classification of the premier class. Desalle also won two of the final three Grands Prix of the season, in the Czech Republic and Brazil, and with a haul of seven podiums in total, was the second most prolific rider on the rostrum after World Champion Antonio Cairoli. The Belgian will again wear ‘yellow’ after being a Suzuki representative for his first three years of World Championship participation.

“This will be the first time for me as a factory rider but I do not want to change my approach or philosophy, I will do my best and work very hard. I am looking forward to this ‘step up’ for my career,” he commented.

“I wanted to improve my performance in the World Championship year after year and now I am reaching the top. It was not a difficult decision to join a team like this to reach the next level and I hope we can do good things together in 2010,” added the recently-crowned United Telecom Belgian number one.

Prior to this season – and his unfortunate neck fracture at round four that caused him to miss half of the calendar – Steve Ramon had finished in the top-three of the MX1 standings in each of his three years with Teka Suzuki WMX1. The title was gained in 2007 and he was runner-up in 2008. The 29-year-old Belgian’s impressive consistency means that he will be regarded as a championship-threat again in 2010 with the RM-Z450 that he has helped develop and hone in the previous five championships.

“I am happy to do another year with the team,” he said. “They are professional and I know the whole set-up so it is a very practical and beneficial situation for me. I have a good feeling with the bike and with a little bit of testing over the winter I know that we will be ready to go for the title again in 2010.”

Said Teka Suzuki World MX1 Team Principal Sylvain Geboers: “TEKA Group and Suzuki are really pleased to bring Clement back under the Suzuki umbrella and I’m confident that the partnership will work-out positively for both parties and the sport in general. TEKA and Suzuki are also pleased to have reached an agreement with Steve, who will again be a title contender in the next year’s MX1 championship.”

Both Desalle and Ramon will be two of three riders representing their country this weekend for the 63rd Motocross of Nations at a newly-constructed track at Franciacorta in Italy. It will be the first appearance for Desalle at this prestigious event while Ramon already has experience of two victories in 2003 and 2004.

After crowds reaching 80,000 in the last few years, the season-closing Motocross of Nations has become the biggest closed-circuit motorcycle off-road racing event in the World. Thirty seven countries have sent their three best racers to Italy for the latest edition and Suzuki will count on a collective of superb athletes to show off the prowess of RM-Z technology on this mammoth stage.

Chief among those will be Ramon but he will face competition from Australia’s Chad Reed, the 2009 AMA National Motocross Champion. Also in yellow will be USA’s Ryan Dungey and MX2 starlet and Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2’s Ken Roczen, for Germany.