Gautier Paulin of the Bud Racing Kawasaki Team headed to Sommieres in France for Round 1 of the French championship at the weekend. The open format for the weekend was sure to add to the racing excitement as they combined both the MX1 and MX2 classes to create some explosive racing. A well turned out crowd lined the Sommieres circuit as they waited in anticipation of cheering on some of the world’s fastest riders, including David Vuillemin having recently returned from the USA.
As the gate dropped for Heat 1, Gautier had a great jump and mixed it up with the larger 450cc machines as he screamed his Bud Racing KX250F through the first corner. Battling back and forth with the leading pack, consisting of mainly 450 machines, Paulin was prematurely forced to the sideline with a damaged front wheel which putting him out of the contention.
After the heat Gautier said: “I was really enjoying that heat race, Vuillemin got passed me on the 450, and I managed to speed up and pass him right back, unfortunately my wheel broke, otherwise for sure I would have been up front.”
Heat 2 once again started well for the Frenchman as he guided his Kawasaki around the track in the leading pack. This time a miss-fire would put an end to Paulin’s fight for victory, as he started to lose ground battling to keep on circulating until the end of the race. Against the odds, Gautier managed to finish and amazing 4th in class as he crossed the finish line.
The ‘Super Final’ would hopefully give Gautier the chance to have a consistent race, free from problems to get out there and show the ecstatic French crowd just how good he is.
Again running up front, ‘Lady Luck’ just wasn’t there as the earlier miss-fire came back to put a dampener on the day for the Frenchman. Riding as best he could to overcome the issues Paulin raced his machine home for a very respectable 3rd in class.
Even with a DNF in Heat 1 and problems in Heat 2 and 3, Gautier Paulin still leaves Round 1 of the French Championship in a strong 6th position, as he focuses on Round 2 in Pernes next weekend.