Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team maintained his third place in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship despite a tough day in the Czech round of the series at Loket.
Overtaking has always proved difficult around the tricky sweeping old-school serpentine track and this year was no exception as overnight rain made the surface even more slippery than usual. Desalle took a fifth-placed start in the opening moto to finish fourth but was confident of an even better result in race two as he saw the opportunity to make an early assault on third. Unfortunately, he collided with the other rider and was pushed back to the ninth position before he could rejoin the race. The Belgian would eventually finish seventh, but his efforts were more than enough to solidify his third place in the series standings after fourteen of twenty rounds.
Clément Desalle: “The start was so important here to get a top result, as in both races everybody just follow each other. In the first race, I was fifth after the start and finished fourth when Paulin crashed. In the second race, I got a good start and was again fourth after Herlings passed me at the second corner. I didn’t want to let the leaders escape, but when I tried to pass Lupino we crashed together; it happened in a corner where almost nobody was taking the inside line, so I decided to go for it, but Lupino had the same idea. That put me back in ninth position; it was very difficult to pass, but I did manage to get back to seventh. I’m disappointed as I couldn’t make more use of this good start than to get a better result than sixth overall but I want to stay positive, and we’ll continue to work to be back on the podium again soon.”
Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki built on his recent run of top ten results and ever-improving starts to score a solid eighth place in the opening moto and was optimistic of an even better score in race two as he nearly took the holeshot, but a first lap collision with Desalle pushed him out of the points-scoring positions before a strong ride back to fifteenth at the finish. Tommy Searle of Bike It DRT Kawasaki, unable to train all week after a bout of sickness, advanced from fourteenth to twelfth in the opening moto before a lack of energy pushed him back to fifteenth at the finish. Another brave effort in race two saw him hold down tenth (place) for half the race before he wisely withdrew after exhaustion caused him to crash.
Alessandro Lupino: “It could have been a very good weekend. In the second moto I nearly got the holeshot, but after half of a lap, I crashed together with Desalle. I was a long way back after that and couldn’t push as I wanted as it’s never easy to choose your line when you’re in the pack; I made many mistakes in this race and only finished fifteenth. Before that I had a good weekend with very good starts and good speed for twenty minutes in the first race; the last few laps were tough as I’m not used to racing in front with those guys! But today we showed that our bike can stay among the factory bikes; that’s very important for the team.”
Image and text courtesy Kawasaki