The Belgian rider and the hard-working KRT staff had already indicated the benefits of recent testing as he earnt third choice of gate in qualification and the upward curve continued on race day as he quickly took over second place in the opening GP moto. Setting the fastest lap of the race, he kept the pressure on the leader for half the moto to eventually finish just five seconds back at the chequered flag. Edged out of third through the first few turns of race two, Clement needed six laps to take over third place but the two leaders had already escaped out of reach. However third in the moto was sufficient to secure second place overall on the day and see him move significantly clear of his rivals for third in the series in addition to pulling back four points on the rider who is second in the standings.
Clement Desalle: "I knew the starts would be even more important than usual on this track because it is so difficult to pass; we have worked hard for that and I made a top five start in every race. My riding was also really consistent all weekend and in the first moto I could stay with the leader for many laps to finish second which was good for my confidence. In the second race it was a little more difficult to pass Coldenhoff; I got a stone in my goggles and dust in my eye and when I finally got into third place the leaders were gone. I'm happy to come so strong on hardpack; we have a good base to keep working and get even closer to the first two."
KRT teammate Julien Lieber recorded another solid top ten finish as he crossed the line ninth in race one, but an incident at the start of race two left him outside the points-scoring positions initially before a strong charge took him back to fifteenth at the chequered flag. The tremendous effort was sufficient to maintain his top ten series ranking.
Julien Lieber: "I knew already before we arrived here that this weekend would not be easy as this track is not one of my favourites. But I tried to do my best. In the first moto I was in the top ten at the start and finished ninth even though I didn’t really have a good feeling with the track. My second start was much better but in the second corner a rider in front of me stopped and another one hit me; I crashed and was last to rejoin the race but I came back to fifteenth at the finish. Since the beginning of the season something unusual has always happened in the second race; it’s difficult to accept but we’ll try to rebound in Portugal.”
Maxime Desprey of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki Racing again put in two strong rides to finish tenth overall from twelfth and eleventh moto scorelines and his Italian teammate Alessandro Lupino made it four Kawasaki’s in the first thirteen overall from fourteenth and thirteenth placed finishes.
Maxime Desprey: “It was another good weekend for me after Holland and Spain. I have a good feeling with the bike, and we can see that all the work we did this winter is now paying off so that’s really nice; I didn’t race any supercross so that I could focus on motocross, and with good training and some good starts I can now race regularly in the top twelve. Now I need to continue to work on the physical side, as the level is really high when you start in the top ten-twelve of MXGP.”