Desalle narrowly misses podium at opening MXGP round in Argentina.
The 2019 MXGP season kicked off at the picturesque Nequen circuit in Patagonia, Argentina. Thor riders were eager to get the new season underway, especially Julien Lieber who qualified second in the Saturday qualification race with Desalle and Anstie rounding out the top 5.
Lieber’s lightening starts saw him hole-shot moto one, with team-mate Desalle pushing into a podium spot. Lieber lost some pace while Desalle pushed hard to close onto the leading duo of Cairoli and Febvre. A duel ensued with Tim Gasjer later in the moto with the former MXGP world champion making a move on Desalle. Anstie retired prematurely with a technical issue which would see him fresh for the second moto.
‘Lightening Lieber’ secured yet another hole-shot but once again could not hold the pace of the opening laps. Desalle went down in the first turn and remounted stone last having to give chase to the pack. He would claw his way back to 6th , narrowly missing out on the overall podium. Max Anstie rode a consistent strong moto, starting out, inside the top 10. The tenacious Brit charged hard all moto and his efforts were rewarded with a 4th place at the checkered flag. Team-mates Glenn Coldenhoff and Ivo Montecelli struggled during the weekend. Just being able to make the race was a miraculous feat for Coldenhoff after a pre-season training crash left the likeable Dutchman with a broken wrist and several fractured vertebrae. He however soldiered on and finished both motos.
Riders and teams will return to Europe where round 2 will take place in the UK at the Matterly Basin circuit, located 30 mins north of Southampton on the 23rd of March.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:41.270;
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:06.253;
3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:09.838;
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:11.464;
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:14.030;
6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:32.226;
7. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:39.435;
8. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:49.752;
9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:50.285;
10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:59.164;
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:56.475;
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:02.386;
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:37.829;
4. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), +0:42.332;
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:43.070;
6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:47.509;
7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:49.602;
8. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:58.810;
9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:01.941;
10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:03.513.;
MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points;
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 44 p.;
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 35 p.;
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 33 p.;
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 32 p.;
6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 26 p.;
7. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 22 p.;
8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 22 p.;
9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 21 p.;
10. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 21 p.;