Who impressed: MXGP class Semarang
Tim Gajser – It looked like Tim was maybe going to get his first win of the season in moto one only for Herlings to run him down the last few minutes, but up until then this was Gajser at his best. The hard pack, slick surface suited Gajser perfectly and he aggressively made his way to the front, passing Cairoli and Herlings to do it before pulling away.
He made some moves again at the beginning of race three and got into the battle with Desalle and Herlings for the lead but ultimately settled for third and second on the podium in what was Gajser’s best performance of the season to date.
“It feels good to be on the podium again,” admitted Gajser. “Today I felt quite good on the bike. The first race was amazing: the speed was good and I managed to stay in the lead for many laps. In the end I was passed by Jeffrey but I was able to stay with him and tried to get back to first place, but it was too late. My start to the second race was not the best, but came through the pack and made a couple of passes and pushing towards the front, too. I made a couple of mistakes in the central part of the race and lost touch with Jeffrey and Clement. Third place was enough to get second overall, so I’m happy to leave Indonesia with a second-place finish.”
Clement Desalle – The Belgian has been riding well all year but has just missed the podium in recent races despite having the pace to be on it. In Semarang however, Desalle was deservedly back on the box with two very impressive riders, especially race two that saw him shadow Herlings for virtually the entire moto while holding off a determined Gajser.
Desalle looks to be getting back to the level he was at Suzuki and that means a consistent podium threat and potential race winner.
“It feels so good to be back on the podium after being so many times fourth or fifth in recent GPs, particularly as sometimes I had scored the same points as the third place on the podium! I had two consistent motos today after two good starts. In the first race I lost several positions when I went wide at the third corner, but I could recover to fourth at the finish; then I took the lead before the second corner in the second moto to finish second after a strong ride.”
Tommy Searle – A top five result for Tommy Searle has been a long time coming due to injuries but Searle was back where he probably feels he belongs after two impressive rides from mid pack.
Searle was looking good pre-season but a broken collarbone at Valkenswaard ruined his chance to shine, now though it looks like he is finally showing that speed again. He came off a 1-1 at Desertmartin at a the end of June for his first win of the season and now he first top five at GP level in 2018. It serves as a remainder of the talent Searle has and shows his determination to get back to the sharp end of the GPs after a tough few seasons.
“I’m happy with today! I knew I could be fast even though I didn’t have a good gate pick and I knew it would be a hard day but I stayed positive and pushed through the pack in both races for fifth overall. I was very fast in the first race, posting the third fastest lap of the race on the very last lap! It wasn’t easy with many riders to pass in both races but both the bike and my fitness felt great.”
Tony Cairoli – A 3-4 isn’t usually the best results for Cairoli but with the thumb injury it was probably as good as the Italian could have hoped for. Cairoli was forced to take pain killing injections and could be seen shaking out the pain the in the final laps of race two after he came through from seventh back to fourth despite his obvious discomfort.
It served as a remainder of Cairoli’s determination to win and ability to ride in pain as well as his incredible motivation to do it again.
Cairoli said: “I was very worried this week because I had a lot of pain and until Friday I could barely ride around on a scooter! I tried on Wednesday and it was so painful so I knew it would be hard to race, especially at this hard-pack track that is so tough on the landings. On Saturday it was almost impossible to ride without painkillers and for Sunday we decided to have an injection. The pain slowed a little bit but only for 15-20 minutes.
“The first moto was good actually; third place and I didn’t expect that I could be top five with this problem. It was a surprise. I had a good start in the second moto but was pushed a little bit wide by Jeffrey on the first corner and we both lost the lead as we were 1-2. I made another mistake on the jump, came short and hurt the thumb again so I dropped back to ninth and I knew I needed to regroup. In the end fourth was good and just one point from the podium. We know we have lost some points for the championship but there are still a lot of GPs to come.”