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Clement Desalle at the 2017 Grand Prix of Czech Republic

Desalle powers to second at Czech MXGP as Duncan rallies in WMX

Jul 232017

Across a stormy and challenging thirteenth round of 2017 MXGP Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle kept consistent but feisty to finish as runner-up in the Czech Republic for his fifth gleam of podium silverware this season and remain number two in the series standings while Courtney Duncan aced the latest chapter of WMX. Current MXGP and MX2 category leaders Tony Cairoli and Pauls Jonass were top dogs on the day.

An unstable climate greeted the first Grand Prix after the summer break and around a special and unchanged Loket circuit that invited a special flow. The dirt was low on technical difficulty (despite the emergence of some hefty braking bumps and churned hard-pack) but also sparse for grip and clear overtaking opportunities, meaning good starts were essential for podium hopes, riders ran in close trains and errors – both forced and unforced – influenced the order of the motos.

Desalle made the brightest of starts in Moto1 and gave keen chase to world champion Tim Gajser; the Belgian closed up to the Honda but the gap fluctuated and the Slovenian kept distant to earn his first moto win since Arco di Trento (Italy) in April. Another fierce getaway by Clement, winner of races in France and Russia this year, put him at the heart of an entertaining tussle for second place with four other riders for company. It was the action highlight of a Grand Prix that saw the four seasons strike in a matter of hours (rain, wind, sunshine). Desalle won the tussle to guard the second step of the box.


“Of course it is not a win but twice second is a strong day and a good result,” #25 said. “I’m happy I could make today a ‘positive’ because yesterday I had a really bad start in the qualification heat. Together with my team last night we said that the start would be the big key to this GP and I was able to do that in the first and also the second races. I focussed on myself and enjoyed what I could do.”

“Taking the win and re-taking the red plate is what we wanted,” the Kiwi said. “It is all really close and there are four races left, I have to be smart and get the starts because I know I have the speed to do it. The four of us are really close at the moment but I hope we can get some more moto wins and that title. Assen is seven weeks away now but we’ll have plenty of time to get in the sand.”