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The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

Imola, Italy, 29 September 2018

Three Kawasaki’s qualify in the top five

Clement Desalle and Julien Lieber of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team and Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki all qualified top five for tomorrow's MXGP finale at Imola in Italy.

With second fastest time to the new world champion in the timed practice session Desalle had already put himself in a commanding position to challenge for honours at the final round of the 2018 of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship around a man-made track at the famous Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari on the banks of the River Saterno, just one kilometre from the ancient city centre, and the situation became even more satisfying from a Green viewpoint in the qualifying race as Lupino gated third with Desalle fourth and Lieber fifth. Desalle was in scintillating form to make third place his own by half distance and with four laps to go he ran down his rival for the series bronze medal and earn second gate pick for each of tomorrow's points-scoring races. His KRT teammate Lieber followed him through to fourth and home rider Lupino maintained a strong fifth to the finish.
 
Clément Desalle: « It was a good day. Here again the start was very important as the track is pretty short and the qualifying race seemed so long as we did fourteen laps! I was fourth for the first few laps and found it difficult to pass Lupino but finally I found a spot to overtake and then Gajser made a mistake when I was pushing him hard so I could pass him for second. The ground is slippery so we have to be careful; I will have again a good gate pick and I hope to get some good starts again. »

Julien Lieber: « I had a good feeling and a good rhythm all day and, even though I was only eleventh in the timed practice session, I was confident going into the qualifying race as there were six of us on the same second. I got a good start in sixth position, then passed Simpson and Lupino to finish fourth, so I will have a good gate for tomorrow. The track is narrow so you have to be careful, especially in the corners. »

Alessandro Lupino: « It's another home GP for me and that always helps! I’m happy as I got another great start; I just went too wide in the first corner so one guy passed me for the holeshot! I pushed hard during the first few laps, but as I’m not as fast as a few guys I eventually lost a few positions but fifth is a really good result. Now I’m looking for a holeshot award tomorrow; it will make the race much easier and would be a great reward to the team for all of the hard work they have put in this year! »
 
Marshal Weltin confirmed his excellent form since returning to the Kawasaki fold with eleventh place in the qualification for the MX2 class with F&H Racing Team colleague Adam Sterry fourteenth. Pierre Goupillon was sixteenth on his GP debut for Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki.
 
Marshal Weltin: « I struggled during the practice sessions and couldn’t post a top twenty time, but I had a pretty solid jump out of the gate in the qualifying race and I was fifteenth after the first few corners. This is one of those tracks where it’s difficult to pass; you have to be in control and not let the bike take control of you because the track is very technical. I had a pretty good feeling in the second part of the race as I was charging so I hope I can carry that into tomorrow's GP motos."