Landmark US Grand Prix Next for Suzuki WMX1

Factory Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 team head to California

The sixth round of 15 in the 2010 FIM Motocross World Championship sees the factory Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 team head to California and the circuit of Glen Helen for the first US Grand Prix of the century and the first of the MX1/MX2 era.

Clement Desalle and Steve Ramon will fly out with other members of the squad today (Wednesday) 10 days after competing in Catalunya, Spain. The two Belgians hold fourth and sixth positions in the standings respectively with their RM-Z450WS' and have placed a Suzuki on the podium in four of the five races run so far this season.

After back-to-back events in Portugal and Spain the team packed up the necessary equipment last week and the riders seized the free weekend to train and recuperate after a hectic period of the calendar. Desalle was able to rest his right shoulder and Ramon could recover from aches and pains courtesy of his Qualification fall at Agueda and his unwilling first corner crash at Bellpuig.

The meeting at Glen Helen will represent the first US Grand Prix since 1999 and the first trip to the hillside venue at San Bernardino since 1992. The winner of the 500cc contest 20 years ago was none other than current Team Manager Eric Geboers, who now returns to the West Coast hoping to again celebrate victory, but in a slightly different form.

"Obviously it is special to go back there and the sport has changed a lot both technically and in the way it is organized in the last 20 years so we will see a different kind of Grand Prix," Geboers said. "We have not done too badly this season so far but my feeling is that both Steve and Clement have more to offer both in terms of their performances and the results we are taking; I hope we can pick it up in the United States."

The Grand Prix is the first of two fly-aways on the 2010 schedule and the trip across the Atlantic has added significance for the Belgian crew thanks to their new partnership with Rockstar Energy. "We have such a lot of respect for the people at Rockstar Energy and it is fantastic to be associated with a company like that," commented Geboers. "Going to the US means that the Rockstar management will be able to get close to the team and see what we are all about."

For the riders, Glen Helen is a chance to tackle one of the most renowned circuits in the USA. The fast climbs and drops of the layout under the Californian sun east of Los Angeles is a tantalizing prospect for Desalle who competed in a round of the AMA Nationals in 2009. "I am so excited to go," the Portuguese Grand Prix winner said. "The track will be new for me but I have watched every AMA national for many years there, so I feel like I know Glen Helen a little bit."

Ramon is no stranger to the American soil but acknowledges the novelty of the event: "I was there in 2002 to do some practicing but I was not on the full track. I like it. Depending on the weather it can be hard underneath with loose dirt or sand on the top. I am looking forward to going there as it is new on the calendar and something different."

A rapid retreat will await the team after their US adventure with the Grand Prix of France at St Jean d'Angely set to occur the following weekend. The weather forecast predicts fine conditions for the weekend with Sunday set to be particularly hot with temperatures tipped to hit the low 30s.