Clement Desalle Ends KTM MXGP Domination In Russia


Clement Desalle broke KTM's domination of the MXGP class with his second win in as many years in Russia. Photo: Youthstream
Clement Desalle has raced to MXGP victory in the Russian round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at the Orlyonok raceway for the second consecutive year.

For the first time in 2018 the MXGP class was won by a non KTM rider, the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team bike piloted by Clement Desalle took Russia by storm in 2017 and has repeated his performance again this year. Also returning to the top step of the podium in Russia with blistering speed was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Pauls Jonass.

MXGP‰Ûªs Race 1 was intense and another memorable battle between the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders of Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings. On the start Cairoli took the Fox Holeshot but Clement Desalle was right alongside and Herlings just behind.

Desalle took the lead on the opening lap from Cairoli with better drive up one of the many steep hills of the Orlyonok Circuit. Behind Herlings in third was Gautier Paulin.

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Jeremy Van Horebeek ran in 5th the first 2 laps before Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser took the position away from the Belgian. Back at the front Herlings, who had lost time from Cairoli early in the race, was charging in an attempt to pass Cairoli while Desalle sprinted away.

Herlings made several attempts at the Italian but was unable to make anything stick. On the final lap Cairoli closed gap to Desalle but for both him and Herlings it was a little too late. Desalle took the race win, the first of 2018 not by a KTM, with Cairoli 2nd and Herlings 3rd.
The MXGP class get underway in Russia. Photo: Youthstream
For Race 2 Herlings was determined to take the win and gain as many points as possible. When the gate dropped the #84 took the FOX Holeshot ahead of Desalle and Gajser. For Desalle all that was needed to secure the overall was second in race 2.

Cairoli, who started in 4th place, faced pressure from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre but kept his focus on passing Gajser. On lap 10 Cairoli bobbled while trying to catch Gajser and lost traction before falling. The mistake from Cairoli cost him 1 position to Febvre as he remounted in 5th.

While Herlings and Desalle crossed the finish first and second Febvre took third from Gajser after a great battle for the position. In the overall Desalle had 47 points with 1-2 finishes, Herlings 45 points going 3-1, and Cairoli 38 after his 2-5 score. Meanwhile BOS GP‰Ûªs Russian star Evgeny Bobryshev finished 14th overall at his home GP.

For Clement Desalle it was a case of back to back wins in Russia.

"I'm really happy about my riding today and to be able to put a green bike on the top of the podium," Desalle said. "I found some really good lines in the early laps of the first race to take the lead and build a good gap
they came back at me in the last few laps but I was able to control the race for the victory. I got another good start in race two, could stay with the leader for several laps and stayed focused to the end to
While Clement Desalle may have won the MXGP class. championship leaders Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli where not far away in second and third. Photo: Youthstream
While Jeffrey Herlings may have not won the round he did extend his lead in the MXGP standings with his strong second place.

‰ÛÏI took good starts which is important for me, we are getting better and better at that, more controlled, Hearlings said. "Yeah, in the first race we got third which messed up the overall but to come back swinging in the second race with a FOX Holeshot and then ride good without mistakes‰Û_ I‰Ûªm happy to go to Latvia in 2 weeks time, that is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar.‰Û
Pauls Jonass was back on top in MX2 with a double win in Russia. Photo: Youthstream
After two difficult GPs at Trentino and Portugal Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Pauls Jonass returned to his winning shape this week. Lining up to the gate first after winning Monday‰Ûªs Qualifying Race Jonass came out if the first corner of race 1 in second.

Leading the way with the Fox Holeshot was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jorge Prado. Prado led his Latvian teammate the opening lap but just across the finish line jump Jonass keep his bike lower and was quicker to get the power back to the ground.

As the pair came up the hill and passed the mechanics area Jonass took the lead. Behind the KTM‰Ûªs was Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team‰Ûªs Ben Watson first followed by F&H Racing Kawasaki‰Ûªs Adam Sterry and shortly after his Kemea teammate Jago Geerts.

Geerts who won the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship here in 2016 held 4th for 5 laps before crashing and eventually finishing 12th. Capitalizing on the error from Geerts was Thomas Kjer Olsen.
Jorge Prado took a pair od seconds behind team-mate Pauls Jonass . Photo: Youthstream
Olsen moved to 4th ahead of Team HRC‰Ûªs Calvin Vlaanderen but then, in a surprising ride from KTM Silver Action‰Ûªs Stephen Rubini, Vlaanderen was passed. Rubini then charged to the back of Olsen but before making a pass spun out and lost his hard fought 5th back to Vlaanderen.

On the next to last lap Rubini, who was riding the track with more flow than most, took the spot back from Vlaanderen. Across the finish first was Jonass then Prado, Watson, Olsen, and Rubini.

Race 2 was again led by the KTM‰Ûªs but the second time around it was a FOX Holeshot from Jonass as Prado pursued. Team Martin Honda Racing‰Ûªs Michele Cervellin was third from the first lap and while Jonass and Prado pulled away he found himself with a comfortable cushion back to Olsen in 4th.

Ben Watson was 5th on lap one behind Olsen but lost positions to both Henry Jacobi and Vlaanderen. On lap 3 Jacobi dropped to eight moving Watson back up and into 6th.

Watson had Vlaanderen just in front of him from lap 2 until lap 16 when the HRC rider passed Olsen for 4th. The pass on Olsen was important in the overall standings as it gave the final podium position to Watson.

On the last lap Prado charged to the inside of Jonass but wasn‰Ûªt close enough to make a clean pass which resulted in Jonass taking the race win and the overall ahead of him. Cervellin held onto third with Vlaanderen and Olsen rounding out the top 5. Watson finished 6th but was unaware the result earned him a career first podium until riding up to his team manager who informed the young brit with much joy.
Brit Ben Watson was pretty stocked to score his first podium in MX2. Photo: Youthstream
Pauls Jonass was happy to be back on top of the podium at the end of the round.

‰ÛÏI really wanted to have two good races heading into my home GP and I did it, I had two good starts, first start I was second behind Jorge and I managed to pass him pretty quick so that was pretty good and in the second race I got a Holeshot and pulled a little gap. I am really happy going 1-1 again and really looking forward to my home GP," Jonass said.

Jorge Prado didn't lose to much ground on his team-mate with second and is still very much in the championship hunt.

‰ÛÏThe weekend was great‰Û_ I am really happy with 2 second places and second overall especially on track that was difficult for me so I‰Ûªm really happy," Prado said.

Ben Watson was speachless with his first podium. ‰ÛÏI honestly have no words for this weekend‰Û_ I just gave it everything I had and I didn‰Ûªt actually realize I was on the podium, I was actually gutted because I thought I finished 4th again. I came off the track and my team boss was there, I was just speechless," the Brit said.

Aussie Jed Beaton finished 8th overall to strengthen his 5th place position in the overall standings.

MXGP will be back on May the 13th for the 7th stop of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Champinship series in Riga, for the MXGP of Latvia
Aussie Jed Beaton was 8th overall and is still a solid fifth in the standings.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), 33:30.843
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.512
3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:03.489
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:25.944
5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:34.132
6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:39.081
7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.279
8. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:45.440
9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:45.952
10. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Honda), +0:55.876.

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 33:53.627
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:05.066
3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:15.098
4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:17.458
5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:19.176
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:20.912
7. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:41.868
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:47.040
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:49.670
10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), +0:50.771.

MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 47 points
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 45 points
3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 points
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 34 points
5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 34 points
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 33 points
7. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 27 points
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 25 points
9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 20 points
10. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HON), 19 points

MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 286 points
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 263 points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 212 points
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 203 points
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 180 points
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 152 points
7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 150 points
8. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 147 points
9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 135 points
10. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 113 points

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 34:54.861
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:11.561
3. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:31.861
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:36.859
5. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), +0:39.204
6. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, Honda), +0:40.899
7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:53.491
8. Jed Beaton (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:58.912
9. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:59.572
10. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, Husqvarna), +1:10.071.

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 34:38.909
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:01.630
3. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:39.711
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, Honda), +0:40.600
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:41.581
6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:43.440
7. Jed Beaton (AUS, Kawasaki), +1:06.039
8. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), +1:12.622
9. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +1:15.696
10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Husqvarna), +1:20.876.

MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1.
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 50 points
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 44 points
3. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 35 points
4. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 34 points
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 34 points
6. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, HON), 33 points
7. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), 29 points
8. Jed Beaton (AUS, KAW), 27 points
9. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 21 points
10. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, HUS), 21 points

MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 266 points
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 246 points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 219 points
4. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 176 points
5. Jed Beaton (AUS, KAW), 156 points
6. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, HON), 130 points
7. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, YAM), 127 points
8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 108 points
9. Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 104 points
10. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 102 points

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