The green #25 circulating at the back of the pack at Losail was a strange sight. It is not often that MXGP fans will witness Clement Desalle filling the role of a distant bit-part player at a Grand Prix.
The Belgian travelled to Qatar 13 days after fracturing his radius and after careful medical advice that he could make his Monster Energy Kawasaki debut and aim for championship points.
The former title runner-up was ‘kicked while down’ in the first moto when he had to retire with just three minutes remaining due to an engine problem. He was able to leave Losail after the second race with three points for 18th place.
“Physically and mentally it was really difficult – too much pain – but still I had three points and at the end of the season that could count for something,” the rider rationalised. “However we are not here ‘for three points’ we are here to win races,” he added offering some insight as to the task of running at the back of the field for an athlete who had won Grands Prix every year in MXGP from 2009-2014.
Now Desalle has an appointment with his doctor this week to assess the state of the bone. “I will be looking for some positive signs in the next few weeks and on Monday I will visit my doctor and hope for some good news there. Hopefully I can go to Thailand with one more week of rest and maybe aim for better.”