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MXGP, Assen, THE NETHERLANDS, 16 September 2018

Clement Desalle maintains third in the MXGP standings

Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team emerged from the Dutch round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Assen to head to the series finale third in the standings.

The Belgian, a winner two years ago at the tortuous sand track in front of the main grandstand at the famous facility, rode two solid races to protect his series ranking and takes a twenty point advantage over his closest rival for third place in the series final standings. An incident early in the opening moto when he touched with another rider nullified a good start, but Clement persevered to regain those lost positions before a minor technical issue ended his charge and he had to be content with ninth place at the chequered flag. He maintained seventh place throughout race two, his chances of advancing to sixth spoilt when he was delayed in passing a lapped rider.
Clement Desalle: « It was a strange weekend for me, as I have some bad memories from last year but I also won here in 2016! We worked with the team on sandy tracks after Turkey, and we made some little improvements to the setup so that’s good for the future. My first start wasn’t too bad, but in the first two corners I nearly crashed and hit another rider with my elbow. I was outside the top fifteen but I came back to seventh before I had a small technical issue in the last ten minutes and couldn’t keep the same rhythm so I lost two positions to finish ninth. My second start was better; I was seventh and kept that position until the end; at one stage I was close to the sixth place, but a lapper didn’t move over and cost me contact. I will continue to work hard; I’m still third in the championship but it's not yet completely secure and I want this podium in the final standings. »

Desalle's KRT teammate Julien Lieber also made excellent starts to finish tenth in each moto despite surrendering a few places during the early laps each time, and another to surrender places during the hectic first few turns was Bike It DRT's Tommy Searle. Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki inevitably felt the effects of an enforced pause in his training schedule to allow a knee injury to recover, but persevered to sixteenth in each moto and showed powerfully the advances the team has made with bike setup as he gated second in the opening moto.
Julien Lieber: « It was a pretty good weekend for me; my best one since I came back in Indonesia. Twice I got a good start but lost some positions during the first few laps; in the second race I went out of the track in the waves section and lost a couple of positions. It was a consistent weekend with a tenth position in each race; a good step in the right direction. »
Tommy Searle: "The first two turns here were a bit of a lottery. Yesterday I didn't get out of the gate so well, but I had a good first two turns and came out in the top ten; today I gated well, but I was always in the wrong place and I wasn't even in the top twenty after a few corners. I rode well in that race to get back to twelfth."
Alessandro Lupino: "My knee is much better again after two weeks rest, but of course I missed riding a little and sand is always difficult for an Italian so I was pretty satisfied with the results. I will be spending a lot of time practising with the team in the sand this winter to improve my technique. And did you see my start in the first race? I nearly holeshot and that is very positive for the future. I am really looking forward to ending the season on a high note at my home GP in Imola."