Gautier Paulin of the Kawasaki Racing Team scored his second consecutive victory in the sixth round of the FIM World MX1 Motocross Championship at Agueda in Portugal.
Full of confidence after his victory two weeks earlier in Bulgaria the 23 year old Frenchman swept past the defending champion and current points leader Antonio Cairoli in the first moto of the demanding track in the hills 30 kilometres inland from the Atlantic coastline to lay the foundation, ensuring overall victory with a rugged second place in race two. The result strengthens his runner-up placing in the world championship standings and sees the Kawasaki ace reduce his deficit on the leader to 38 points with eleven rounds of the series remaining.
Tommy Searle of Team CLS MX1 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit continues to impress in his rookie season of MX1 GP racing; the Englishman defied the pain from a finger injury sustained in the early stages of the first race when his hand was struck by a rock to complete the day fifth overall following a stunning ride from outside the top ten to fourth place in race two after a series of laps which were faster than anyone else in the race. The result also strengthened his top six ranking in the series.
Paulin’s KRT teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek continued his surge up the rankings with two solid top six moto finishes to lift him into the series top ten after a difficult start to the season with injuries.
Gautier Paulin: “Of course I’m delighted with this GP win, especially after the great battle in the first moto with Antonio. He wanted to win it as badly I did and for sure we both had a lot of fun, but I was able to pass him and then stay in front. It’s great to win two GPs in a row; it’s the first time in my career that I have achieved this and I want to thank all the people and partners who are behind me. I had a good feeling on the bike all weekend; now we must continue to work to stay in front as we have eleven more GPs to race.”
Tommy Searle: “We struggled a little bit to find the right bike settings this weekend, but we got there in the end and I was setting the best lap times for most of the second race. In the first moto I took a stone on the middle finger of my left hand; the ligament was broken so the race was tough but I managed to finish sixth. I was wondering if it would be OK for the second race, but the pain subsided after a couple of laps and I was able to charge to fourth place. The track here is always demanding, but it was much more difficult in the tight corners with a 450 than with a 250, particularly with my hand injury.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek: “I have mixed feelings about today, as I could have got better results, even if it was my best GP so far. I got two very good starts; in the first race I had some troubles with my arms, I’m not used to racing near the front this year but I finished fifth and was happy with this result. We made some changes to the front brake between the races as I had the feeling that something was not adjusted to perfection but in the end it was worse and I had no front brake after twenty-four minutes. But I showed everyone this weekend that I’m more and more comfortable on the 450, and I’m sure that I will get soon some top results.”