THOR RACE REPORT: DESALLE VICTORIUS IN ASSEN.
Clement Desalle and the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team celebrated their first victory of a difficult season in the Dutch round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Assen.
An arm injury just a few weeks before the opening GP in February had made the Belgian's introduction to Kawasaki difficult during the early months of the season, but rider and team have been scoring increasingly impressive results in recent GPs and the victory in the tortuous Dutch sand was the culmination. Desalle soon took control of third place and advanced to second on lap three, but the race leader, who had taken many risks during the opening laps, was too far away. The track had dried considerably before race two but was still rugged and after a tempestuous five-way battle for the lead Clement crossed the line in second place to secure the overall GP victory. It was Clement's first victory aboard Kawasaki and the first victory for the team since Thailand last year with Ryan Villopoto; despite the early season disappointments Clement is now eighth in the championship standings, just five points behind seventh with two rounds of the 18 GP series remaining.
Teammate Jordi Tixier also maintained his progress after sitting out the first half of the season following an operation. The Frenchman took fifth place in qualification and fought doggedly in the lower leaderboard placing in the opening GP moto to convert a ninth placed start to eighth at the chequered flag. He had less joy at the awkward first turn in race two to emerge fifteenth after another rider hit his right foot, but he again showed character to advance to eighth before a small crash cost him two positions late in the moto.
Fast and consistent despite challenging and changing track conditions, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s MXGP star Max Nagl wrapped up round 16 fourth overall in Assen. With his FC 450 powering him to a good start inmoto one, Nagl remained mistake-free and managed to cross the finish line in sixth place.
As the deep sand dried out during moto two, Nagl rode another smart race to finish a strong fourth. Remaining third in the MXGP championship standings, the German rider further increased the gap to fourth-placed Romain Febvre to 20 points.
The penultimate round of the series takes place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 2/3. The final round of the series will take place a week later at the historic Glen Helen track.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 34:23.278;
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:08.511;
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:15.649;
4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:16.595;
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:32.529;
6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:35.717;
7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Husqvarna), +0:42.884;
8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:49.112;
9. Tanel Leok (EST, KTM), +0:56.148;
10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +1:00.466;
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:18.739;
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:02.106;
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:03.267;
4. MaximilianNagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:05.370;
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:24.762;
6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:34.969;
7. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki), +0:37.170;
8. Tanel Leok (EST, KTM), +0:57.508;
9.Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:59.272;
10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:05.532;
MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 44 points;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 43 p.;
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 40 p.;
4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 33 p.;
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 31 p.;
6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 30 p.;
7. Tanel Leok (EST, KTM), 25 p.;
8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 24 p.;
9. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 23 p.;
10.Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 22 p;
MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 653 points;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 588 p.;
3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 542 p.;
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 522 p.;
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 494 p.;
6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 477 p.;
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 347 p.;
8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 342 p.;
9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 326 p.;
10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 307 p.