Clement Desalle swept to a stunning second place for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in the Dutch round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Valkenswaard.
In the opening moto the Belgian emerged from the tricky opening S-bend just inside the top ten and quickly settled into a rapid rhythm which would see him move relentlessly up the leaderboard, eventually taking second place on lap ten of seventeen with an exhilarating move which left onlookers gasping in amazement. Desalle found himself just outside the top ten through the opening chicane of race two but was again in tremendous form as he advanced to fifth place already by the completion of the first full lap; a lap later he moved spectacularly to fourth, a position he held until a strong challenge cost him one place on the penultimate lap. This did not endanger his first podium of the season and the thirty-eight points for second overall on the day sees the Kawasaki leader advance to third in the series standings.
Clément Desalle: “I’m really happy as it’s not my favourite track and I was not expecting such a good result as I couldn’t train as I like during the week after my crash in Great Britain; I had pain in my hand and in my neck. Yesterday I just took it step-by-step and did what I needed to do. Today was different; I got good starts, was feeling good and could come back to second position during the first race. But I hurt my knee during this race; between the motos we had to work with the physio and doctor so I was able to get another top five finish which gave me a first podium this season. We are now third in the championship and I’m really confident for the rest of the season after this podium.”
Desalle’s KRT teammate Julien Lieber also put in a stunning ride in race one as he moved up the leaderboard to finish sixth with a series of consistent lap times which never varied by more than two seconds throughout the gruelling race. The Belgian was initially twenty-second in race two after stalling in traffic but he had moved forward to fifteenth by the end of the opening lap and, again maintaining his lap times for the entire race, continued his charge to take seventh on the final lap for sixth overall and ninth in the series standings.
Julien Lieber: “Yesterday was a tough day but I recovered today. In the first moto my start was not really good as I skidded on the metal plate but in the first few corners I passed many guys to come in the top ten; then I passed some more riders to advance to fifth but Van Horebeek passed me at the last corner so I finished sixth. My second start was also not the best and I stalled the engine during the first lap but I came back from twenty-second to seventh, which is good on this track. I knew that I could do better today as the track was rougher and it’s nice to go back home safe with a top six result.”
BOS Factory’s Tommy Searle advanced from an initial twenty-eighth to twentieth on lap six before an error cost him four places in race one; another incident early in race two cost him eleven places after advancing quickly to thirteenth but he charged again to salvage three points for eighteenth. It was sufficient to maintain thirteenth place in the series standings. Alessandro Lupino of the Dutch Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki team finished twelfth in moto two after racing leaderboard throughout and is now seventeenth in the championship.