MXGP boiled in heat and humidity for the second time in a week and for the second slice of frantic action on Indonesian soil…but Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle kept cool to finish 3rd overall and dowse the damp Semarang air with sickly sweet champagne for the first time since his Russian GP win in May.
The Grand Prix of Asia saw Indonesian fans get their fill of MXGP for the second time in a week but the oppressive air of Pangkal Pinang was swamped for the fast hard-pack and massive jumps of Semarang and a sect of the world’s best thrived in the conditions.
Desalle made the most of two good starts to finish fourth and then second – holding off a rampaging Tim Gajser (and clocking his third top three moto finish from the last six) – to make it back onto the box. With five pieces of silverware Desalle is the next-best Grand Prix runner behind the title-duking KTM duo Jeffrey Herlings and Tony Cairoli as the Dutchman won in Semarang.
“I feel really good,” Desalle said. “For a couple of GPs I was fourth or fifth with the same points for third place, so it was really frustrating and it felt like a long time. I had two consistent motos and starts were really important here. I was happy about my work; I had a great feeling in the second moto and want to be consistent in the next races.”
It was also a tasty weekend for Bike it DRT Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tommy Searle who broke into the overall top five of the premier class for the first time this season thanks to his 7-7. “I knew I could be fast even though I didn't have a good gate pick and I knew it would be a hard day but I stayed positive and pushed through the pack in both races,” the Brit said. “I was fast in the first race, posting the third fastest lap on the very last lap! It wasn't easy with many riders to pass but both the bike and my fitness felt great."
Sadly Monster Energy Yamaha’s Romain Febvre tumbled away from the #461 in the first moto and snapped his handlebars while another dismount in the second saw the Frenchman clipped by another rider and was lucky to escape unscathed.
Over in MX2 and Kemea Yamaha’s Ben Watson was banging his head on the YZ fuel tank after another weekend of top five consistency resulted in yet another fourth position overall. The Brit, who has become one of the regular front-runners in the class, has closed to just 10 points of 3rd in the world championships standings but is getting hungry for a second career podium appearance after his breakthrough in Russia earlier this summer. "It felt like a bad day for me,” he confessed. “I didn't feel comfortable on the track all weekend and feel I got quite lucky with my results today. I don't really feel I deserve fourth riding the way I felt I did, but it was just one of those weekends and I can't be too disappointed because I've had plenty of good weekends up to now. I will remain positive and focus on where I feel I should be."
MXGP continues its toil across the continents with the journey back to Europe and round fourteen of twenty in just two weeks time at the hilly, slick and hard-pack venue of Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.