Courtesy of Youthstream Media Service Team
Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Clement Desalle proved too strong for the Red Bull KTM Factory riders last weekend in Russia. During the Grand Prix of Russia, the Belgian rider put together a very solid 1-2 result.
While a GP victory was long over-due for the former world number two, his 23rd GP win was a nice reward for not giving up against the might of KTM. Still 74 points down on series leader Jeffrey Herlings, the Kawasaki man will need to put more performances together like his win in Russia.
“I feel good,” Desalle said after his win. “It was a good race for me. Already on Saturday I felt fast. I’m really happy about my riding today and to be able to put a green bike on the top of the podium. I found some really good lines in the early laps of the first race to take the lead and build a good gap; they came back at me in the last few laps, but I was able to control the race for the victory. I got another good start in race two, Jeffrey was really fast, and I could keep with him, I could stay with the leader for several laps and stayed focused to the end to take the overall GP win. It was great to win again at this track, and now we will work for more GP victories.”
The previous Grand Prix didn’t go as well though and failing to finish a race and then claiming a third place in his second race was very unlike Desalle. Usually consistent and reliable, this time he was let down.
“Portugal was a tough day as I had to retire in the first race. I had a pretty good start and was third until I had to stop after ten minutes. I recovered mentally for the second race, but I got wheelspin on the metal plate; thankfully I had an inside gate, so I could do some good moves in the first turn to come out in fourth place. I finished third despite a small mistake at the end of the race. We didn’t know what we would find here as they have had a lot of rain in Portugal; I must say that they did a great job to prepare the track between the races.”
At the hard-pack of Trentino, it was another podium finish, and his 2-3 results showed the improvement was coming. Known for his hard track skills, Desalle rode as we all remember him, and it didn’t surprise anyone that he was in the top three at this Grand Prix.
“I knew the starts would be even more important than usual on this track because it is so difficult to pass; we have worked hard for that and I made a top five start in every race. My riding was also really consistent all weekend and in the first race I could stay with the leader for many laps to finish second which was good for my confidence. In the second race it was a little more difficult to pass Coldenhoff; I got a stone in my goggles and dust in my eye and when I finally got into third place the leaders were gone. I’m happy to come so strong on hard pack; we have a good base to keep working and get even closer to the first two.”
Now onto Kegums in Latvia, where he will continue to try and improve and battle the orange army of Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings. One thing is for sure, known for his fighting skills and never give up attitude, you can be sure he won’t have to wait another year before his 24th GP win.
Copyright: Photo: Kawasaki Racing