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MXGP, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, 2 Szeptember 2018

Third podium in a row for Clement Desalle

Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team raced onto the podium of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship for the third consecutive weekend with third place at Afyon in Turkey.

The Belgian quickly settled into fourth place in the opening GP moto and, adapting ever more to the extremely fast track, he maintained his lap times to retain his position to the finish. In race two the Kawasaki rider took the holeshot award, the team's second success in three weeks, and, although quickly demoted by the championship leader, he again found a good rhythm to set fast consistent lap times and secure the overall podium with third place in the moto. He goes to the final two GPs with a twenty-eight point margin over his closest rival for third place in the final championship standings.
Clement Desalle: "I’m really happy with my third podium in a row. I didn’t feel so good yesterday because this new track was so fast and we were on the limit but the track developed really well through the weekend; today it was really technical and I felt better every time I rode. The team has been working really hard on small details to get us ever closer to the win but it is not easy against Herlings. It was a good feeling for the team to get another holeshot award today after my teammate also got one in Switzerland." 
With a painful leg after his crash last week in Bulgaria, Desalle's KRT teammate Julien Lieber was restricted to thirteenth place in each moto but Bike It DRT Kawasaki's Tommy Searle raced to tenth place overall from 10-9 moto finishes. The Englishman posted his most consistently fast laps in the closing stages of each race though, aware of the dangers in the extreme heat at altitude, he had surrendered one place in the hectic early laps each time.
Tommy Searle: “It was a consistent weekend. I think my riding was a big improvement from some of the other races this year. I was in control and enjoyed my riding; I could change my lines and felt comfortable but I didn’t push enough in the middle of the races because of the heat. I was strong at the end of both races, but I needed to be more aggressive earlier to pass the sort of guys who passed me early in the races. The track got better and better throughout the weekend; yesterday it was flat and fast but today it became more technical.”
Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki again had to be careful to protect a recent knee injury but rode sensibly and fast to finish twelfth in race one and advance to a gutsy tenth place in race two.
Alessandro Lupino: "I again had a good feeling on my bike, but my knee injury is still troubling me. I didn't do any more damage this weekend but it gets into your head when you know that the injury is there. Anyway, I made good points again in both motos and now we have two weeks to the next race. The doctor told me that the injury will heal with ten days’ rest, so I am optimistic that I can be back to my best form for the final GP at Imola in my Italian homeland."