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MXGP, Valkenswaard, THE NETHERLANDS, 18 März 2018

Clement Desalle stays third

Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team's Clement Desalle remains third in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship series points standings after a tough weekend in the GP of Europe at Valkenswaard.

Adverse weather affected racing all weekend at the Dutch track. The organisers did a magnificent job to prepare the track after torrential rain in the days prior to the event, but a severe cold front over the weekend caused icy patches on the track and an unpleasant airflow for competitors with a "feel" temperature well below zero. Having spent much of the winter testing in more suitable weather in Spain both the rider and team faced a new challenge to adapt to the adverse conditions and they responded admirably to retain third place in the series points standings after two solid if unspectacular performances; the need for caution was emphasised over the two days of action as several riders crashed heavily, fortunately without serious injury in most cases.
Desalle was initially eighth in the first GP moto and maintained that position to the chequered flag apart from a short time mid-moto when he relinquished the position, and race two followed a similar pattern as he started and finished seventh to secure seventh place overall over the weekend but more importantly retain his third place in the series standings as the series heads for more pleasant weather next weekend in Spain.
Clement Desalle: « I knew when I came here that it would be a tough weekend with such low temperatures; it was so cold that we had no fun riding our bikes. We had never tested in these conditions but we improved my feeling with the bike throughout the weekend. I’m happy that this weekend is over as I have some bad memories here. The start was really fast, it was difficult to pass and we saw that some guys crashed pretty hard. Eighth and seventh meant that I was not in the leading group this weekend but I scored some important points today and we know that it will be a long season."
Desalle's KRT teammate Julien Lieber could only score four points over the weekend to remain thirteenth in the series standings, but Tommy Searle of Bike It DRT Kawasaki unfortunately suffered a collarbone injury. France's Maxime Desprey, making his first appearance of the season for Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki Racing, showed great spirit to take thirteenth place overall from a twelfth placed finish in each moto.