Gautier Paulin was Tony Cairoli’s strongest rival for the majority of the MX1 World championship season. But a big crash knocked the Frenchman out both literally and figuratively of the championship fight, However, until then it was the best season of his career.
Paulin did ride the last few GPs but admitted to us that it was just to get ready for the Nations this weekend. We spoke to Paulin about the ups and downs of his season and France’s chances at the Nations this weekend and found out that the French are confident of success in 2013!
Q. You started really strong this year and beat Cairoli in Italy. What did you change from last season in the winter?
A. Just being more strong, having more experience and improving myself, my speed my technique – just everything. It’s the goal when you train you want to fight at the next level an that’s my goal.
Q. You beat Cairoli in Italy at his home country, that seemed to be a big victory.
A. I have been riding so good in some races and the race I wasn’t on the podium wasn’t a bad race, it’s the result wasn’t there but the riding was going good with some fast lap times. Sometimes I was having bad starts and things like this but the win was emotional for sure.
Q.Is it hard to maintain that level throughout the whole season, you had that crash and injury and then weren’t on the same level
A.I was on that level the whole season and that day (injury) was tough. Normally if you have that injury in boxing you can’t fight for three months but I was back on the bike after two weeks because there are no rules.
The goal was to be fit for the Nations it wasn’t to be fit for the last GPs. When I crashed at that race I was leading and going so fast, but now I am back at 100% but it was tough because I also hurt a muscle on my leg. But all the races I did after that was only for training after that.
Q.You have always been very good at the Nations and won races, obviously you will go for the win yourself but the team could be really good this year even if some people don’t expect. You have a chance of winning.
A. Yes we have a chance of winning, we are a good team both guys are feeling good, it is their first time here so there is a big motivation. They all like this kind of track, but we are pretty confident and we will see how it goes. We are confident and working hard, We will do our best and fight each lap. I have good Des Nations before and I like the race. I just want to ride and have fun and give some racing for the public.
Q. You don’t seem to be intimidated by the Americans?
A. You the Americans are riders just like we are. The World championship is a big championship, the US championship is a big championship.They are fair on the track and want to win, we are fair on the track and want to win. We race with them they are just riders it is just different colour on the shirt. They are cool they bring us every time a good sensation because they fight until they end. It is good they are here and good for the sport,
Interview by Jonathan McCready