Gautier Paulin Wins the First MX Grand Prix of 2009

French motocross star, Gautier Paulin, has won his first MX2 GP at the much anticipated maiden Motocross Grand Prix of 2009. The 19-year-old Frenchman and the world’s best riders came together to do battle on the Italian hillside circuit of Faenza however heavy rains on Sunday would turn the track into a mud bath . Paulin was unperturbed by the muddy conditions and with his amazing ability on a motorcycle it made him one of the favorites in the wet conditions.

Saturday’s qualifying race saw Paulin caught up in an unfortunate first turn pile-up which put the Bud Racing Kawasaki rider almost a minute down on the rest of pack before he managed to remount and give chase. He posted the fastest lap of the race and managed to recover to 25th spot by the end of the 20 minute + 2 lap heat.

With constant rain plaguing the start of the first heat, Gautier got caught up in a gaggle of riders as the pack headed through the first corner. Pushing hard Paulin blasted through the mud rounding up lap one in 14th position and almost 1 minute behind the leaders. Over the next 5 laps it was clear that Paulin was going to make his way through the pack as he threw down the gauntlet and closed in on the leading riders. By lap 8, he was already up to 3rd position and still pushing hard. With 2 laps to go Paulin was into 2nd position behind Belgian hopeful, Jeremy Van Horebeek, and without hesitation Paulin made his move as he blasted his Kawasaki into the lead. He remained up front until the chequered flag clinching the top step of the podium at the first Grand Prix of 2009.

The rain continued to fall and after a track inspection by the FIM it was decided to cancel the 2nd heat and call the overall Grand Prix result based on heat 1’s results thus giving Paulin the overall win.

“I am really happy to be leaving the first Grand Prix with the red plate, I know I will have to work hard to keep it now, but I am ready for that. We have a long season ahead of us still. I’m really happy for the Bud Racing Kawasaki team – we have been working hard in the pre-season races and today that has all paid off. Last season I never got the opportunity to prove my speed and that I was capable of winning GP’s. I came so close in similar conditions in Spain last year but now I have my first GP win and I want to build on the championship from here,” commented an overjoyed Paulin.

Round 2 of the 15 round FIM MX World championship series will take place in a week’s time at the magnificent Sevlievo circuit in Bulgaria.

Image: CDS
1 Paulin, Gautier FRA Kawasaki
2 van Horebeek, Jeremy BEL KTM
3 Musquin, Marvin FRA Honda
4 Guarneri, Davide ITA Yamaha
5 Roelants, Joel BEL KTM
6 Lupino, Alessandro ITA Yamaha
7 Aubin, Nicolas FRA Yamaha
8 Maddii, Marco ITA Suzuki
9 Teillet, Valentin FRA KTM
10 Nicholls, Jake GBR KTM

1 Paulin, G. FRA 25
2 van Horebeek, J. BEL 22
3 Musquin, M. FRA 20
4 Guarneri, D. ITA 18
5 Roelants, Joel BEL 16
6 Lupino, A. ITA 15
7 Aubin, Nicolas FRA 14
8 Maddii, Marco ITA 13
9 Teillet, V. FRA 12
10 Nicholls, Jake GBR 11