Paturel Takes First Race Win in France
Thousands upon thousands of French fans erupted with noise and emotion as Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Benoit Paturel hit a career milestone with his first ever MX2 race win. The Frenchman made a huge contribution to the hair-raising atmosphere at the MXGP of France - round nine of the FIM MX2 World Championship - with his 3 - 1 performance for second overall.
The MX2 grand prix of France took place at the typical French circuit of Ernée - a steep, clay based track made most famous by the 2005 and 2015 editions of the Motocross of Nations - located in the Pays de la Loire region of France, 249km south west of the nation's capital Paris.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 had a sensational start to the grand prix with all three riders crossing the finish-line in the Qualifying Race inside the top six. The fan favourite Benoit Paturel was second, Brent Van doninck was fourth and Alvin Östlund was sixth.
In the opening race of the day Paturel and Östlund went bar-to-bar around turn one in sixth and seventh. Both riders inherited one position from a fallen Jorge Prado before passing the rookie Hunter Lawrence who faded out of fourth. Urged on by the amazing French fans, Paturel pinned it around the outside of Julien Lieber, utilizing all of the power of his YZ250F to move into third, and started chipping away at the gap Jeremy Seewer had.
The crowd was on the edge of their seat as Paturel threw everything at the Swiss rider, Seewer. Unfortunately, Seewer managed to withstand the pressure and the Frenchman was forced to settle for third, while Östlund and Van doninck retired from the race due to technical issues.
After an upset in Race 1, a near holeshot couldn't have come at a better time for Benoit Paturel, who sent the fans into frenzy when he took the lead at turn two. The atmosphere was nothing short of incredible with a huge credit to their nations own, Paturel, who led every lap for his first ever MX2 race win, which he dedicated to his late mother.
Östlund was hauling onboard his YZ250F and was looking comfortable in tenth before he crashed with a slower rider. He made a quick remount and managed to come home in fifteenth, which gave him nineteenth overall, while Van doninck is already looking forward to the next round after being classified thirty-first.
The next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship will take place at an unfamiliar location, Orlyonok, Russia, on the weekend of June 11th.
2nd GP Overall, 5th MX2 Championship Standings
"It was a great race. First race I didn't have a bad start, inside the top ten and I quickly came back to third. My riding was good, but I missed something to pass Pauls (Jonass) and Jeremy (Seewer). In race two I had my first holeshot and I had a great race. I am so happy about this weekend!"
Brent Van doninck
31st GP Overall, 8th MX2 Championship Standings
"Yesterday I started good by finishing fourth in the qualifying heat so I had a good gate pick. But, in the first moto I had some technical issues so I wasnt able to finish the race. Second race I had a really bad start, but I came through to tenth. Unfortunately my clutch cable broke, meaning I had to ride without a clutch which is really difficult on a track like this, almost impossible. Two DNFs means it is a black day for us, but hopefully we have more luck in Russia and we keep the feeling we did yesterday."
19th GP Overall, 18th MX2 Championship Standings
"Saturday was really good. I was eighth in Time Practice and sixth in the Qualifying Race. Today I was running in eleventh in Race 1 until I had a technical problem. The second race I was also riding in eleventh position with two laps to go, but unfortunately I crashed with a back-marker when I was going for tenth position. I came back to 15th position, so I am not happy about the result but I am happy with my riding of today. I am excited for the next race to get some good results!"