Clement Desalle is moving on from Suzuki and has agreed to a two-year deal with and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team (Europe). The Belgian is currently recovering from a shoulder injury, but hopes to begin testing the bike in a few weeks.
“I have been in touch with Thierry (team owner) and François (team manager), who was my mechanic in 2009, for several years now and finally they convinced me to join them for the next two seasons,” Desalle said in a statement. “It was a great feeling to see that they wanted to work with me so much, and that was important for me when it was time to make my decision. I have spent great years with my previous team, but I think that it was the right moment to change colours, bike and environment.
“It’s never easy to change, but I’m very happy with my decision and I’m impatient to start testing the new Kawasaki. At the moment I’m still recovering from my shoulder injury; after Lommel I took the decision to undergo surgery to repair it, and two weeks ago I got permission from my doctor to start working with my physiotherapist. Everything is going well so far, and at the end of this month I will have a further check-up to know if I can start riding a bike.”
Desalle will be joined by former MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier on the team. Tixier and Desalle replace the now retired Ryan Villopoto and Tyla Rattray.
"Everyone's eyes are on us taking the MXGP title with our new KX450F-SR in 2016 and so welcoming a rider of Clement's pedigree to KRT is a very exciting concept for both the team and Kawasaki,” said team manager Steve Guttridge. “His ability on a motocross bike is unquestionable, as is his determination to reach the top in every race he competes in. Channeling that passion and drive is now going to fall on our factory team, bike and staff to give the very best material and support to Clement in order to move him and his team-mate Jordi Tixier to the top step of the podium on a regular basis next season."