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Clement Desalle at the 2016 MXGP of the Netherlands

Desalle talks about Assen MXGP breakthrough win

Aug 302016

Clement Desalle has been running up a hill in 2016…and finally reached a peak last Sunday. The Belgian star of MXGP has been a championship contender each year since 2010 and this season took on a new challenge by leaving the confines of the factory Suzuki team where he had been resident for six terms to join the works Monster Energy Kawasaki squad. Just as the 27 year old was about to attack the premier class of the FIM Motocross World Championship he broke his arm only two weeks before the opening Grand Prix in Qatar.

“The injury came at the wrong time, well, every time is wrong for any injury! But it didn't help because it was the beginning of the season and I had changed teams and had a new bike, new brand of suspension, tyres, everything!” he explained while exuding the sweet aroma of victory champagne after last weekend’s Dutch GP at Assen; round sixteen of the series and his first victory in ‘green’. “Sometimes it was coming easily and other times we had to work a lot to get back some of the good feeling I had in the past.”

“After the storm this morning it was almost like Enduro out there!” he offered. “It was important to stay on two wheels and make some consistent laps and I could do it…but Shaun [Simpson] was really fast and in the second moto it was similar with Tony [Cairoli].”


“It has been a few weeks now where I have had a good base and I am happy with that,” Clement said. “I’m pleased with what I can do with my bike in practice and in the last few GPs. We always have a few points we can work on…but I know I can be back at the front. We have two GPs to go now and I’d really like to thank the team because we have worked a lot in the time we’ve had off recently. They are fighting for every detail I’m asking for. Also my family have been so supportive around me and all the sponsors also.”


“The start of the race is now like 65-70% of everything,” Desalle revealed after giving Kawasaki their first triumph since Mexico 2014. “When you are fast you can pass to the front but it is getting difficult to do that. The level of the top ten is really high and many more riders can win a GP or a moto; the start is so important and I had those today in both races.”

Desalle will be one of an all-star line-up this weekend at CMS for the first visit by MXGP to the North Carolina state.