Gautier Paulin wins round in Dutch Championship

Neither Xavier nor Gautier has trained on a sandy track similar to Heerde yet this season. Due to rain the track was even harder to ride as the sand had become heavy. This proved to be a great test for the team.

After three days of testing this week with a Japanese engineer from KHI (Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the mother company in Japan), both riders were happy with the engine settings and Xavier took the holeshot in both races to prove the strength of the KX450F.

Gautier was not as strong as his teammate Xavier at the start, but he managed to pursue two consistent races: fourth in the opening moto, and third for most of the next ride. In the last lap, Gautier passed Gonçalves for second, and then collected the overall win. This is his first win for KRT.

Unfortunately, Xavier didn’t have a good feeling with the Dutch track, and he made several mistakes in both races; he became tenth in the opening heat and he retired from the next race after having had three crashes.

Paulin who graced us with his presence at Hawkstone earlier this year has got off to a great start in the Dutch Championship. For the second time this season, Gautier Paulin (Kawasaki Racing Team) has won a pre-GP season round. This weekend, he was involved in the third round of the Dutch Championship, in Heerde.

In the MX2 class, Joel Roelants collected his third consecutive podium aboard his KX250F Pro Circuit Kawasaki. After his overall win last weekend, the Floride rider finished runner-up in Heerde, thanks to a third and a second position in two races. Joel will enter the fourth round of the Dutch series in Mill next weekend.

Gautier Paulin: “I want to dedicate this win to the team. We have all done a great job since I joined them this winter; the team is based in the Netherlands, but they haven’t won there since a while! The track was very strange, with a lot of slow corners and some deep holes. My feeling was not so good during the first race, so I didn’t take any risks and just secured a fourth position. Between the races we worked on the suspension settings, and the result was perfect! Last week we worked mainly on the engine, and we had no time to work on the suspension. But we found a good balance today, and I’m happy to see that we all work in the same direction, with great results. If I would have had a good rhythm earlier in the first heat I think that I would have won this one as well, as I finished so close from De Dycker. This week we’ll continue to work and prepare Mill, the next round of the Dutch series; with the new parts the engine is so powerful, we need to work with Kayaba on the suspension. We have three weeks prior the GP in Valkenswaard, and I’m confident.”

Xavier Boog: “It wasn’t a good day for me. Apart from two great starts nothing went as I expected and I’m disappointed. In each race I was passed during the first circulations, and I have made too many mistakes; I have stalled the engine, I have crashed twice during the first period and three times during the second one. I don’t really know what happened, because I was not going fast when I crashed; for sure the track was special with slow sections, wet and heavy sand, but that’s not an explanation. We’ll continue to practice on sandy tracks, even if I will not enter Mill next weekend. In two weeks I will race the opening round of the German series.”

François Lemariey: “It was a weekend of contrasts, with a great win for Gautier and a disappointing result for Xavier. Both came here after three days of testing on sandy tracks, and we can’t compare these tests to a training session or a race. Between the heats we changed some settings on the bikes, and Gautier was happier with his suspension settings in the second period; he lost his rhythm when he was behind Gonçalves, but he has won the overall and that’s good for the confidence of all the team members, including all the engineers who work for us in Japan!”

Results MX1 Heerde:

Race 1:
1 Evgeny Bobryshev Rus Honda
2 Kevin Strijbos B KTM
3 Rui Goncalves Por Honda
4 Gautier Paulin F Kawasaki
5 Herjan Brakke NL Yamaha
6 Ceriel Klein Kromhof NL Honda
7 Marcus Schiffer D Suzuki
8 Bas Verhoeven NL Honda
9 William Saris NL Yamaha
10 Xavier Boog F Kawasaki

Race 2:
1 Ken de Dycker B Honda
2 Gautier Paulin F Kawasaki
3 Rui Goncalves Por Honda
4 Marc de Reuver NL Kawasaki
5 Kevin Strijbos B KTM
6 Marcus Schiffer D Suzuki
7 Herjan Brakke NL Yamaha
8 Marvin van Daele B Kawasaki
9 Bas Verhoeven NL Honda
10 Lars Oldekamp D KTM

MX1 Overall:
1 Gautier Paulin F Kawasaki 40
2 Rui Goncalves Por Honda 40
3 Kevin Strijbos B KTM 38

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