Clement Desalle and the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team encountered a difficult weekend in the treacherous sand of Lommel in the north of his native Belgium as he was restricted to ninth overall.

All riders face the Belgian round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship on the first weekend of August with trepidation and track conditions were even more unusual this year as a six-week drought gave the sand track an unusually hard base and Desalle, despite the sand-riding skills which have seen him race to victory on such surfaces in the past, never settled all weekend. But despite failing to record a top four finish for the first time since March, Clement was still able to defend his third place in the championship standings as he only surrendered four points to his closest rival and retains a twenty-five-point advantage as the series heads to the final five rounds.

One further positive factor of the weekend was Desalle’s nomination to captain his country in the Motocross of Nations, the annual world team contest which will be held on the first weekend of October in the USA.

Clement Desalle: “It was a difficult weekend for me. It can be perfect if you have a good feeling with this track but it can also be dramatic if you don’t find this feeling. I finished twice in the top ten but I can’t be happy with that; some guys can take risks to get a top result at this period of the season as they need results, but I can’t bring myself to do that on a track like this one. At least I didn’t lose so many points against the guys who are behind me in the standings, and this race is behind us; I remain positive and can focus on the next ones.”

Desalle’s KRT teammate Julien Lieber recorded a twelfth placed moto finish in race two.

Words and image courtesy Kawasaki.