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Lieber completes KRT MXGP line-up for 2018

Aug 092017

Monster Energy Kawasaki will be an all-Belgian affair for the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship after the announcement that Julien Lieber will steer the works KX450F next to Clement Desalle for the 23 year old’s maiden attempt at the premier class.

Lieber has posted five podium finishes as a privateer in the MX2 division this term and has applied his clear talent to maturing racecraft, fitness and confidence under the eye of former GP winner Yves Demaria. The promising signs of Lieber’s potential – and how he bounced back from a ruinous 2016 campaign where he had to end his GP participation early for surgery on both hips – caught the eyes of Kawasaki hierarchy.

Lieber put pen to paper on the deal at last weekend’s Grand Prix of Belgium where he also walked the ‘box’ and was confirmed as the MX2 entrant for Team Belgium at the forthcoming 2017 Motocross of Nations at Matterley Basin in the UK; race weekends rarely get any better!

“Coming back to racing this season, one of my goals was to get a top ride for the MXGP class, and I’m so happy to have achieved that,” he said. “Joining the main class with such a professional team is like a dream, and for sure I will do my best to get strong results. There’s a lot of top riders in the MXGP but I already trained and raced on a 450 a couple of years ago and I think that this class will suit my riding style; I’ve ridden a 250 for seven years now, so it really is the right moment to move up and you can’t do it in a more professional team than the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team. I’m also happy to be teammate with Clement; we already have a good relationship and I’m sure we’ll work closely together.”

 

Desalle is currently third in the MXGP standings and has given the Holland-based team two victories this season already. Lieber will be the crew’s second attempt to groom a rookie talent after two years with 2014 MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier ultimately did not come to fruition.

 

“We will work closely with him so he can adapt well to the 450, and for sure Clement will also help him,” said Team Principal Thierry Chizat Suzzoni. “Clement knows the bike and the team perfectly; he worked hard last winter with the team to develop the bike even further and now he is very confident when he’s on his bike and has been getting strong results every weekend. We’re already working for 2018, and as soon as Julien joins us we will start testing with him.”

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