MX1, Kegums, Latvia, 7 July 2013
Gautier Paulin, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Tommy Searle each finished in the top six for Kawasaki in the Latvian round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship at Kegums.
Gautier Paulin of the Kawasaki Racing Team had high expectations of returning to the podium in the eleventh round of the series after he had finished a strong third during the qualification race the previous day, but an unfortunate incident at the start of the opening moto when he touched with another rider as they entered the first turn together in front of the pack left the Frenchman on the ground. After a strong ride back through the pack to finish fifth the KRT team leader initially found the going tough in race two as it took him some time to find the best lines in rapidly changing conditions, but a strong showing in the closing laps secured fourth place both in the moto and overall on the day as well as maintaining his second place in the championship standings.
Jeremy Van Horebeek matched the scoreline of his KRT teammate Paulin to be ranked fifth overall in the GP from 4-5 moto finishes. The Belgian rode strongly and consistently all day to race amongst the top five throughout both motos and this strong showing has taken him to within one point of seventh place in the championship standings as he recovers from a difficult start to the season when injuries restricted his scoring potential.
Tommy Searle of Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit was once again one of the fastest riders throughout the weekend but the Englishman suffered terrible bad luck. After being nudged off pole position in the closing seconds, he was knocked off by another rider during the qualification race for gate positions but showed terrific speed to recover to tenth place. His misfortune continued in the points-scoring races. In te opening moto another rider fell directly in front of him at turn one and he had to charge from last place to miss fifth place by a fraction of a second with a final lap more than two seconds faster than those set by any other rider during the final quarter of the race. In the second race he again moved forward quickly from an initial twelfth place to pull alongside the rider in third before once again another rider, this time a backmarker, stopped directly in his path and he surrendered two places with the incident to finish sixth in the moto and the GP overall, thus consolidating his current sixth place in the championship standings.
Gautier Paulin: “I got the holeshot in the first moto, but it was wet at the first corner and I lost some grip. Cairoli was on my right and he also slid; he touched me and I crashed but it was just a race incident. I was last when I rejoined the race and I came back to fifth; the track was pretty rough and I was happy with this performance. In the second race I didn’t have the best lines early on, but I eventually found them and had a good rhythm in the last ten minutes. I think a fifth and a fourth place on a difficult weekend in not so bad. We will continue to work and go to Finland with podium expectations.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek: “I can’t say that I’m disappointed with my results, but I was expecting a podium and once more I missed it! My first race was good; I had a strong rhythm, finished fourth, and was ready for the second one. My start was again pretty good and I chased Clement (Desalle) and Gautier (Paulin) in fifth for the entire race; if I could have passed them the podium would have been mine! It’s just a question of experience; I need to be stronger after twenty-five minutes as I’ve always two or three difficult laps at this period. But another top five is not so bad, I’m sure that this podium will come soon.
Tommy Searle: “I was really fast this weekend, but on Saturday during the qualifying race I got knocked off by Frossard and I had to come back from last to tenth. This weekend I was one of the fastest guys, easily fast enough to be on the podium but that didn’t happen. It was just bad luck but there’s a lot of positives with the team, with the bike and with myself so we are working in the right direction. In the second moto I had a bad start and came back to fourth; I passed Strijbos, Van Horebeek and Paulin and was ready to pass Desalle when a lapper stopped in a corner right in front of me and that cost me several positions.”