Clement Desalle will join Jordi Tixier in the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team on the brand new KX450F-SR Kawasaki for the next two years. Both riders will soon start testing with the team.
Clement has been one of the main protagonists in the MXGP World Championship for the last seven years, and with 19 GP wins and five series medals he is one of the most sought-after riders in the paddock.
Having shared a good relationship with several members of the KRT staff in the past, Clement has been in close contact for several years and has finally decided to join the team for the next two seasons.
Still recovering from a shoulder injury that sidelined him after he had claimed seven GP podiums during his eight appearances and held the red plate for three rounds, Clement will be able to start testing the bike in a few weeks.
Team-mate Jordi Tixier, who is currently recovering from a wrist injury sustained during the GP of Lombardy, will also soon return to action. The team is already working in the workshop on the development of the new KX450F-SR, and will enter this new chapter in their history with high motivation after a tough season hampered by injuries. The opening GP of next season is scheduled for the end of February and as usual the team will enter a number of pre-season races to prepare for the 2016 GP campaign.
“I have been in touch with Thierry [team owner] and François [team manager], who was my mechanic in 2009, for several years now and finally they convinced me to join them for the next two seasons,” said Desalle. “It was a great feeling to see that they wanted to work with me so much, and that was important for me when it was time to make my decision.
“I have spent great years with my previous team, but I think that it was the right moment to change colours, bike and environment. It’s never easy to change, but I’m very happy with my decision and I’m impatient to start testing the new Kawasaki.
“At the moment I’m still recovering from my shoulder injury; after Lommel I took the decision to undergo surgery to repair it, and two weeks ago I got permission from my doctor to start working with my physiotherapist. Everything is going well so far, and at the end of this month I will have a further check-up to know if I can start riding a bike.”
Steve Guttridge said: “Everyone’s eyes are on us taking the MXGP title with our new KX450F-SR in 2016 and so welcoming a rider of Clement’s pedigree to KRT is a very exciting concept for both the team and Kawasaki!
“His ability on a motocross bike is unquestionable, as is his determination to reach the top in every race he competes in,” added the Kawasaki Motors Europe Racing Manager. “Channelling that passion and drive is now going to fall on our factory team, bike and staff to give the very best material and support to Clement in order to move him and his team-mate Jordi Tixier to the top step of the podium on a regular basis next season.”
Team Owner, Thierry Chizat Suzzoni said: “We have been working on the 2016 programme for many months already, and we’ll have ‘new blood’ in the team as Clement Desalle will join Jordi Tixier in the team. We have been in touch with Clement for several years now; we know what he is able to achieve and we wanted him to join the team. Finally now it’s time for us to work together, and we’re really happy. We want to build a strong team, and that’s why we signed both riders for two years. We are already working in the workshop on the new KX450F-SR, and as soon as the riders will be ready after their injuries in a couple of weeks we’ll start testing.”