Watching most MXGP races can leave a jaw waggling loose. The speed, strength and seeming wilful abandon that elite level athletes display week-after-week borders on the staggering. At the Grand Prix of the Netherlands – round three of nineteen in the 2019 FIM World Championship – such scenes again inspired a degree of awe.
The shallow Valkenswaard sand was rough and rippled – a side effect of good weather in the southern region – and invited high speed from the world’s best but then also punished the smallest mistake. The terrain was gnarly and nasty.
While Tony Cairoli and Jorge Prado were able to master the conditions to maximum effect there was an eye-catching performance from Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle who walked the box for the first time this season.
What made the Belgian’s feat even more impressive was the fact that he conquered the surface and the majority of his peers with a 2-5 scorecard in the motos in spite of a painful left hand (as a consequence of a crash the previous weekend at the British Grand Prix) and a tweaked knee from the first race.