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MXGP, Palembang, INDONESIA, 1 Juli 2018

Clement Desalle fifth in Indonesia

Clément Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team finished fifth in the twelfth round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Pangkal Pinang in Indonesia to retain third in the series.

The Belgian rode a strong first race to take over third place halfway through the opening moto and came within less than two seconds of the rider in second place at the chequered flag. The track, which had withstood heavy rainfall throughout Friday and on Saturday evening, had become extremely rough by the time the second moto went to the start and the intelligent Desalle used a wise choice of lines to hold down second place until he was caught unawares by a lump of mud in his tracks. Rejoining the race in eighth position he advanced quickly back up the leaderboard before a further crash on lap four again cost him several places but after regaining his rhythm Clement was able to advance once more to eighth. Fifth overall ensures that he remains safely in third position in the championship standings.
 
Clément Desalle: "In recent GPs I seem to have difficulties with the second race and I must find a solution. My first race was good. I had a decent start but Gajser rode aggressively during the first few laps and I had to be patient before I passed him for the third position; I came close to Herlings who was second but he defended his position and I couldn’t find a way to pass him. I found some really good lines in the first two corners of the second race and I was up to second place just before the finish jump but we were several of us trying to use the same rut; I chose a different one but I hit a piece of mud and lost four or five places. I was patient to pass two or three riders, but then I had a small crash in a corner; the ruts made it very easy to make mistakes in the second race and it took me several laps to find my rhythm again. I finished eighth, not really what I was expecting, but I will try to do better again next week."

Desalle’s KRT teammate Julien Lieber put in two brave rides despite difficult circumstances as he had not arrived in Indonesia until Friday evening after his initial fight from Europe was cancelled. A hard race in qualification further sapped his energy reserves a d it was almost inevitable that he would fall several times in the difficult conditions. He eventually finished twelfth and sixteenth in the two points-scoring races.
 
Julien Lieber: "It was not an easy track for a come back, as I have only ridden my bike twice in the last month due to my injury. Our original flight here was also cancelled so I didn't arrive here in Indonesia until Friday evening. Today I felt pretty tired but maybe I used too much energy during the qualifying race when I came back from twentieth to tenth. I crashed a couple of times in the GP motos, so the results are not what I would expect but it will be better in the upcoming weekends. The deep ruts made the track very difficult; it's been a long time since I rode such a track but we’ll keep on working on my physical condition this week to prepare for next weekend."

Tommy Searle of Bike It DRT Kawasaki faced two tough races after emerging sixteenth and fifteenth from the initial sort-out but he rode a strong second moto to advance decisively to twelfth position at the finish, while Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki was eleventh overall despite an incident with another rider which cost him many positions as he battled for eighth position.
 
Alessandro Lupino: "In the first race I was in eighth position when Coldenhoff hit me and took me out of the track; that ruined my race as I had to come back from eighteenth! In the second race I got a good start, but I struggled a lot during the first few laps and lost many positions; there were so many ruts and lines that it was pretty tough to find the best one. It’s a shame as my speed is good, but I can’t show this with my results at the moment."