Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team moved back to second place in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship despite a difficult weekend in round twelve at Agueda in Portugal.
The Belgian, a three-time winner at the facility in the past, was optimistic of further success but a strange incident at the opening turn of the qualifying race restricted him to fourteenth choice of gate for the GP motos and he suffered minor injuries to a finger and ribs. Despite the awkward gate choice Clement was able to take a fifth placed start and held this position for most of the race before eventually finishing sixth. Race two was more difficult as another rider crashed directly in front of him at the first corner and he was forced to to race from last position to clinch an eventual tenth. The combined results gave Clement eighth overall in the GP and his efforts were rewarded as he has moved back to second place in the championship standings as the teams enter the summer break.
After a solid race to eleventh position in the qualifying race teammate Jordi Tixier was advancing rapidly from an initial twelfth position to hold eighth when he crashed heavily after twenty minutes of the opening GP moto; he suffered compression injuries to both leg and back and will undergo scans on his return to France before a final diagnosis can be made but he will certainly be out of action for at least four to six weeks.
Clément Desalle: “I already had some troubles during the qualifying race on Saturday; at the start of the race I was coming pretty carefully into the first corner, but a few metres after the corner my rear wheel slid out and I crashed. It seems strange as I wasn’t pushing so hard, maybe someone hit my rear wheel, I don’t know but it meant that I qualified only fourteenth. In the first race I managed to get a decent start from this gate to hold fifth place initially and finally I finished sixth; the last part of the race was tough as it was again very hot this weekend, but between the races I recovered pretty well. But at the second start another rider crashed directly in front of me and took me down; I recovered to tenth after starting last. For sure I’m not happy with the overall result as on a track like this one I could have score many more points. To be positive I can say that with the team we know what we will work on during the summer break to continue to improve our set-up; I also know what to do during the next three weeks but at first I need a few days to recover from this weekend as I hurt a finger and some ribs in the crash on Saturday.”