Gautier Paulin of the Kawasaki Racing Team just missed the podium in the Brazilian round of the FIM World MX1 Motocross Championship at Beto Carrero but remains second in the series standings.
The Frenchman travelled to South America with his confidence high after victory in the two previous GPs and was impressive during training as he again set the fastest lap times. Unfortunately a collision at the start of the qualifying race cost him any chance of victory but he raced through the pack to finish third and secure a good start position for the GP motos. The format for the overseas GPs this year sees each of the MX1 and MX2 classes race one moto in class before a combined Superfinal. Paulin started badly in the MX1 moto but set the fastest lap of the race on his way from ninth on the opening lap to fourth at the finish, and despite a better start he repeated the result in the Superfinal as deep ruts had formed to make passing difficult. The combination of the two scores saw the Kawasaki number one miss the podium by just a single point and he still has a firm hold on second place in the championship standings.
Paulin’s KRT teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek continued his rise up the world rankings after a difficult start to the campaign with injuries. Sixth overall on the day after two strong rides through the pack from indifferent starts have seen the Belgian advance to ninth in the series.
Tommy Searle of Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit had been unable to train for a fortnight before the GP after damaging a finger at the previous round in Portugal and the Englishman could never show his true form. After a gritty performance he secured eighth place overall on the day to retain his top six world ranking.
Gautier Paulin: “ This track is nice to ride, and I had a good feeling on Saturday. Unfortunately another rider came across me and I had to close the throttle at the start; I had to pass a lot of riders to qualify in third place, but I set good lap times and that gave me confidence for a top result on Sunday. Today my start in the MX1 race was not so good and I again had to pass a lot of riders to finish fourth, again with the fastest lap time. In the Superfinal it was again difficult to pass; my start was better but there were many ruts and I again had to settle for fourth position.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek: “ I was happy with my rhythm and my lap times this weekend, but again I found it difficult to get a good start and we need to find a solution so that I can challenge for the podium. I had a good feeling on the bike; I had the speed to be regularly in the top five and I fought back well in all of my races. I know that with some good starts the results will be different. We have three weeks to prepare for the French GP, and I want to thanks the team for the support they have given us on this long trip to Brazil.”
Tommy Searle: “ I struggled all the weekend with my broken finger. I couldn’t ride since Portugal but before I got here I did not think that it would make such a difference! I’m weak in my shoulders and I got tired. In the MX1 race I had a good start, but on the second lap I crashed and lost many positions. It’s good that we now have two weekends free; I need to recover and then get back on the bike to be ready for France. I know that my speed is OK, I just need to be fit again.”