Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team took a giant step in his recovery from pre-season injury when he finished third overall in the GP of Lombardy at Mantova in northern Italy.
The 27 year old Belgian had persevered through injury during the early rounds of the series and has been consistently building his speed during the last month as he shrugs off the early season handicap. A collision at the first corner of the qualification race meant that he had a poor choice of gate for the GP motos but the gritty Belgian dug deep to move up the leaderboard through the first moto, run in stifling heat, to cross the liner second, less than five seconds down on the race-long leader. Race two proved more difficult but he persevered from a seventh placed start to snatch fourth by half distance and secure third overall in the GP, the twelfth of eighteen GPs on the schedule in FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship. Clement is now tenth in the series standings.
Teammate Jordi Tixier, rarely at home in extremely hot weather, displayed great resolve to make the best out of the situation and he was rewarded with eleventh overall from eleventh and tenth placed moto finishes. He showed particularly great spirit in race two when he maintained his position to the finish despite stomach cramps during the final ten minutes. Jordi is now nineteenth in the series despite missing seven of the twelve rounds to date.
Tommy Searle of Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki had a most unfortunate weekend. After posting fourth fastest time in practice he was eliminated from the qualifying race in a first turn crash involving several riders and the resultant poor choice of start gate inevitably made it difficult for him on race day. Twice he fought through the pack to cross the line twelfth and fourteenth, but was devastated to find himself unjustly disqualified from the first moto for alleged “course-cutting” when another rider had forced him off the track. Tommy is now twelfth in the points standings.
Clement Desalle: “It’s a first step to get this podium result; I have been waiting for it for a few weeks! The weekend didn’t start so well on Saturday, but with the team we were able to do better today, and that’s good to get this podium before the summer break. This weekend I got two decent starts and that makes life easier. It was not an easy weekend with the heat and such a rough track, but I never gave up to get this podium. We have three free weeks before Loket; we’ll continue to work with the team to be even better in the next races. We know what we have to do for that.”
Jordi Tixier: “Everyone knows that when the temperatures are so high I have troubles with my body, so we worked on that and today I’m pretty happy with the results. Saturday was really good with a seventh position in the qualifying race, but in the first race I had a bad rhythm for the entire race. Then I had a bad start in the second moto, and I also had stomach cramps in the last ten minutes so I just tried to survive. We continue to work and learn each weekend; now we have three weekends to prepare the next GPs.”
Tommy Searle: “It was a terrible GP for me, again a tough weekend. In the qualifying race I got caught up in a crash at the start and the bike was damaged so I was forced to retire and got a bad gate for the races. In the first race I managed to come back to twelfth, but they disqualified me. Another rider took me out of the track; I came back on the track and clearly didn’t take any advantage but they wouldn’t listen to me. I was disappointed, especially as it’s never easy to come back from nearly last to twelfth in these conditions. Then the second start was similar, and I had to come back from last to fourteenth. I am always fast on the track, but it never transform into good results so far.”