Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing’s Clement Desalle claimed another podium in the second round of the FIM World Motocross Championship in Indonesia and is now second in the series points.
Both KRT riders were handicapped in gate choice in the adverse conditions by a post-session move to decide grid positions on times set in the free practice session, usually used only to become acquainted with the track, but Desalle used the power of his KX450F-SR to take a third-placed start in the opening GP moto and quickly advance to second.
Avoiding injury risk on the treacherous surface Clement was satisfied to consolidate his third position after being passed by the eventual winner. With each of his leading title rivals behind him to the finish Clement has advanced to second in the series standings, just eight points away from the championship pacesetter. After yet more adverse weather during the afternoon officials took the wise decision to cancel the second race on grounds of safety.
“I could be satisfied with this podium, but I’m not totally happy as this GP was very special and I think that teams and riders should be given more consideration and respect,” said Desalle. “For sure I’m happy to go back home safe, what can I say otherwise about this race? I got a decent start from my 16th position on the grid, and then managed to avoid any big mistake in the tricky sections of the track. It looked like an enduro in one section, and fortunately I go riding enduro with friends in Belgium so maybe that helped me! After these first two GPs I’d like to thank my team for their support; we have a very close relationship this year as we now know each other very well. I feel completely at home on my bike, and each weekend we make yet more improvements so I’m happy and confident for the upcoming races.”
Teammate Jordi Tixier also made rapid advances from his unsatisfactory gate pick to take over eighth place on lap seven; the Frenchman held this position for several laps until he found his line choice through a particularly severe section blocked by slower rivals who had fallen. The resultant stop cost Jordi five positions and he had insufficient time to regain more than one position before the chequered flag to cross the finishing line 12th. Jordi is now 11th in the championship standings.
Jordi Tixier commented: “It was a very strange and tough weekend as the programme changed several times; for sure we knew that it would be complicated as before coming here we saw that it was the monsoon period in Indonesia. I was way outside on the gate as nobody told us that the free practice session would count for gate pick, but my start was not so bad and I made some good moves to advance to eighth; I can’t say that I had fun on the bike, but I had good lines except in the muddy section where I was blocked by other riders and lost a lot of time with five laps to go. After that I just focused on finishing the race; we know that it’s a lottery in these conditions and scoring points was important even if I can’t be happy with a twelfth place.”