News 5 Mar 2019

Desalle pilots all-new KX450-SR to fourth in maiden MXGP outing

Factory Kawasaki talent just shy of the podium in Argentina.

Image: Supplied.

Clement Desalle has piloted the all-new 2019-spec Kawasaki KX450-SR to fourth overall in its maiden MXGP World Championship outing at Neuquen in Argentina over the weekend.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing prepared machine boasts a major overhaul and significant upgrades from its predecessor, already proving its worth on the world stage.

Desalle, a long-time Kawasaki contender, recorded a 4-6 scorecard, forced to come from last in the final encounter to finish just two points shy of the overall podium.

“It was a solid weekend and it was great to be back racing GPs as you can’t find these conditions when you train,” said Desalle. “We saw that we have a great new bike and Julien proved the performance at the starts. I scored a fourth position in the first moto – the rhythm was really high and I finished not so far from the top three.

“I’m just disappointed with the second start – I had a good jump off the gate but they ripped the ground in the first corner and I was surprised in a rut and touched handlebars with another rider.

“I was last but I came back to sixth, which is not so bad as my front brake lever was bent in the crash. It’s good to be going back home fourth in the series – we now have three weeks to work on small details we have learnt at this first GP.”

Nine-time world champion Antonio Cairoli (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took out top honours ahead of Tim Gajser (Honda HRC) and Jeremy van Horebeek (Honda SR Motoblouz). The next stop on the MXGP calendar is scheduled for 24 March at Matterley basin in Great Britain.