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Clement Desalle at the 2016 MXGP of the Netherlands

Desalle posts first Kawasaki MXGP win at Assen as Gajser is forced to wait

Aug 292016

MXGP will roll onto an American finale and a dramatic closing chapter after Tony Cairoli denied Honda’s Tim Gajser a date with destiny at Assen today and the Grand Prix of the Netherlands. Taking the spotlight for the first time this season at the sixteenth outing of eighteen for the series was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle who was the best performer on the slippy sand and savoured his maiden victory on the works KX450F and the twentieth of his career in the premier class since 2009.

Frustration in the Honda camp was outweighed by smiles at Kawasaki as Desalle rode without error and thanks to two bright starts to post a 2-2 scorecard. The Belgian chased Shaun Simpson in the first moto and Cairoli in the second but his consistency was the foundation for the team’s first success of ’16 and maiden champagne shower for the all-new KX.

“Finally back on top of the box and this is a special moment,” the 27 year old said. “I have been working a long time for this: to get back to first place and I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m happy to do it in the sand; I know I can ride it well…even if some people don't believe it too much. This is a good thing for me and for the team today.”


Jeffrey Herlings re-entered the MX2 realm and in front of rapturous home public to grind out his thirteenth victory of the year and elongate his margin at the top of the championship standings to 76 points; practically applying fingerprints on his third world title. The Dutchman was always a firm favourite in the sand but the ooze of Sunday was still a tricky prospect. He beat countryman Brian Bogers and Spanish rookie sensation Jorge Prado.


Kemea Yamaha duo Brent Van Doninck (the Belgian competing at the scene of this first career podium the previous year) and Benoit Paturel and both crashed in the first moto and had an eventful day to finally reach ninth and tenth respectively. Benoit at least defends a very decent third position in the MX2 championship standings.

The MXGP paddock continued to be a hive of activity Sunday evening. Race bikes were being cleaned, stripped and crated for imminent departure for the United States and the very first Grand Prix of Americas at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina that will see some of the cream of AMA motocross also on the MXGP entry list.