Paulin Digs Deep in GP Opener

April 9, 2012 4:15pm

Kawasaki Racing Team’s, Gautier Paulin has put in a gutsy performance at the opening round of the FIM Motocross world championship in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands.   The 22-year-old Frenchman set the tone in the morning warm up session when he posted the fastest lap time in front of reigning MX1 champ Antonio Cairoli.

With weather forecasts giving heavy rains for the day the first moto got underway in good conditions, escaping the initial prediction.  Paulin had to sneak up the inside of the hairpin first turn and was positioned in the top 5.  He set some impressive lap times and moved past Belgian hopeful Clement Desalle and fellow countryman, Steven Frossard to take second behind Cairoli.  A challenge from Frossard broke Paulin’s rhythm around the halfway mark allowing Desalle to pass as well.  He settled down and secured 4th with Cairoli taking victory from Desalle and Frossard.

Heavy rains would challenge the riders in the second moto and Paulin made matters worse when he went down in the second turn.  Starting from stone last he rode an impressive come back race with the final lap proving to be the most exciting.  He pulled back the deficit to pass Christophe Pourcel,  Karo and Simpson for 7th place, pushing him  to 4th in the overall standings.

Gautier Paulin: “This was a very important start for me and every one on the Kawasaki Racing Team.  We have all worked extremely hard over the winter and this weekend we proved we are competitive and ready to fight in the most difficult conditions.   My starts were not so good and this is something I will work on for the next round.  I’m confident with  the KX450F and we also proved today that my fitness is my strong point.  I’m looking forward to Bulgaria”

Round 2 of the 15 round series will take place on the 22nd of April in Sevlievo, Bulgria.

Race results:

Race 1

1          Cairoli, Antonio          ITA      KTM

2          Desalle, Clement        BEL     Suzuki

3          Frossard, Steven        FRA     Yamaha

4 Paulin, Gautier         FRA    Kawasaki

5          de Dycker, Ken          BEL     KTM

6          Strijbos, Kevin           BEL     KTM

7          Philippaerts, David   ITA      Yamaha

8          Boog, Xavier   FRA     Kawasaki

9          Leok, Tanel     EST     Suzuki

10       Goncalves, Rui            POR     Honda

 

Race 2

1          Cairoli, Antonio          ITA      KTM

2          Desalle, Clement        BEL     Suzuki

3          Frossard, Steven        FRA     Yamaha

4          Goncalves, Rui            POR     Honda

5          Strijbos, Kevin           BEL     KTM

6          de Dycker, Ken          BEL     KTM

7          Paulin, Gautier         FRA    Kawasaki

8          Simpson, Shaun         GBR     Yamaha

9          Pourcel, Christophe  FRA     Kawasaki

10       Karro, Matiss LAT     KTM

 

MX GP Overall + Championship standings:

1          Cairoli, Antonio          ITA      KTM    50

2          Desalle, Clement        BEL     Suzuki 44

3          Frossard, Steven        FRA     Yamaha          40

4          Paulin, Gautier         FRA    Kawasaki      32

5          Strijbos, Kevin           BEL     KTM    31

6          de Dycker, Ken          BEL     KTM    31

7          Goncalves, Rui            POR     Honda 29

8          Simpson, Shaun         GBR     Yamaha          23

9          Leok, Tanel     EST     Suzuki 22

10       Boog, Xavier   FRA     Kawasaki        20