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Desalle defends MX1 lead in Spain
La Baneza was another example of the diversity of the series. The short, narrow and twisty layout provided hard-pack terrain, deep ruts in the corners and stony soil. The onslaught of jumps and corners made overtaking a tricky task and placed extra emphasis on the start and first corner for podium positions as 16,000 spectators filled the small banks around the compact venue.

Desalle gained a top-four finish - missing the podium for only the second time this year - after two dramatic races. In the first sprint of 35 minutes and 2 laps he was attacking the back of David Philippaerts for fourth spot when he ran wide and swallowed green fencing in his rear wheel. He was fortunate to be able to continue but completed half of the moto without a rear brake. In the second outing, a collision with Steven Frossard in the opening corners forced an impressive push through the field from a first lap position outside of the top 10. On the last lap a valiant attempt to demote Philippaerts to fourth place paid-off and Desalle was able to hold on to his red plate as MX1 World Championship leader from Antonio Cairoli.

Team-mate Steve Ramon was 11th overall with finishes of sixth and 12th. The former World Champion admirably reached the chequered flag in spite of wrenching his right groin in the second moto that was already injured after his crash last week in Portugal.

Desalle has led the MX1 World Championship standings since the U.S. Grand Prix - round three - and now has an advantage of just one point over Cairoli. Ramon is 10th.

The team will travel home this week and will have time to prepare for the fourth round of the Belgian Championship at Tongeren before another three week stretch of back-to-back races in Sweden, Germany and Latvia.

Clement Desalle:

"It was a really difficult day for me. My first start was OK and my speed and riding was good but I made two mistakes trying to pass David and took the green fence in my rear wheel. There were still 20 minutes and two laps to go and I didn't have my rear brake any more so I just did the best I could. My start wasn't great in the second moto and I had a 'moment' with Steven Frossard. I then took an outside line in one corner and there wasn't any traction there and I lost the front wheel. I had to fight for the rest of the moto and I was happy with my riding to come back to third. I was just able to find a way to pass David on the last lap because overtaking was difficult on this track. Thankfully we have some good circuits coming up now and I'm really happy with my physical condition to be able to ride the way I did. The bike worked really well and we didn't have to change the set-up."

Steve Ramon:

"It wasn't good! The first moto was OK and my start was better in the second as I reached fourth. Then in one corner my front wheel slipped away and I had to put my leg out. I stretched my sore groin again and had so much pain. It was a really tough moto and I tried to make the best of it but I'm not satisfied. It was not easy with the deep ruts in some places. I hope this heals quickly and I need some treatment when I get back to Belgium. I hope I can recover enough to race in the Belgian Championship but we will see."




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