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MXGP, Matterley Basin, GREAT BRITAIN, 1 March 2020
Stanley Leroux / Pascal Haudiquert
Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team made a solid start to the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship with fifth place in each moto of the British GP at Matterley Basin.
The Belgian was in determined mood as he made a series of decisive early passes to advance to fourth and, setting faster lap times than anybody other than the race leader, put pressure on the other podium-chasers until a minor slip as the front wheel dug into a berm cost him three places. Regrouping quickly, he was back to fifth place six laps from the end and was closing rapidly on the rider in fourth as another small slip cost him contact even though he quickly remounted to retain fifth. He was again soon fifth in race two and maintained that position to the finish in a rapid leaderboard train, just a few seconds covering third to eighth at the finish. His brace of fifth-placed finishes surprisingly earns just seventh overall with close total scoreline on the day but he goes to round two just six points behind second in the series.Clément Desalle: “It was my first GP since June last year; that’s a long time but I immediately had a good feeling. The schedule was much lighter yesterday because of the weather; we had only one session to learn the track and work on the settings. I got a good start in the first race and was fourth, close to the third guy, when I made a mistake coming into a corner as a rut was soft; I crashed but I came back, made another little mistake but still finished fifth. I used a lot of energy in this race, and in the second one I was fifth after the first corners and kept this position to the finish; it’s been a pretty good weekend and my speed was good but we’ll continue to work to do even better.” KRT and Romain Febvre made a mutual decision that the Frenchman would not contest the GP to ensure he suffered no further damage to a painful knee injury sustained in a training crash last week.