The Grand Prix of Czech Republic marked a positive return to the podium for Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Clement Desalle who had missed the previous three Grands Prix with a right knee ligament problem.

The Belgian finished third overall at Loket for his seventh rostrum appearance of the year – second only in trophies to MXGP leader Romain Febvre – but instead of feeling content about his reward the thoughtful 26-year-old could not help but ponder on ‘what could have been?’

“I’m happy to be back on the podium but on the other hand I’m sad about the season because it started very good and I had everything under control and in one second in France it was gone,” Desalle, who is one of only three riders to have held the red plate this season, said after round 13 last Sunday. “I still have problems to accept that…but it is like this and I will try to be happy and to work well for the future.”


Desalle cut a frustrated figure on Saturday at the venue where he has taken three wins and three podiums in his last six GPs at Loket, and was not happy about the dust and track conditions. The hard-pack was rougher and more technical on Sunday and #25 shared some shrewd observations about the course and the series generally during the post-race press conference.

“It seems for me that this year – and it is not a criticism – there are many crashes,” he voiced. “The level of the riders has come very high and I think they have to adapt the tracks because every small mistake is turning into a big crash and a big physical problem. I’ve heard stories about the clubs not wanting other people to work on the tracks but everybody should be doing what they can to make the tracks the best for the riders.”

“I was saying [to myself] in my helmet yesterday that there has been a bump on the take-off to the table-top down the bottom for the last three or four years! It is tricky! They need to work on that for the safety of everybody. I know they want to do that but we need to do it all together.”