Paturel & Östlund Tied for Fourth in Orlyonok
The tenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship was not only marked by torrential rain, it was also marked by Benoit Paturel's incredible speed as he stormed through the soup, and sticky mud ruts of Orlyonok, Russia, onboard his Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 backed YZ250F for an impressive third place finish in Race 1. The Frenchman's overall result was eventually wrecked by Lady Luck with the error of a slower rider causing him to crash in the final race of the day. He eventually made a come-back and finished twelfth in that race which saw him tie on 28-points with teammate Alvin Östlund for fourth overall - a result that is a career best achievement for the Swedish youngster, Östlund.
Fresh off of his first ever MX2 race win, which happened in front of his home crowd at the MXGP of France 2-weeks ago, Benoit Paturel was radiating confidence this weekend. The French sensation wowed the Russian fans with his unmatchable pace in the Timed Practice session when he set the fastest lap of the day. His performance in the Qualifying Race was also incredible as he charged hard from outside of the Top 10 for a mind-blowing second place.
The Grand Prix of Russia was arguably one of the wettest races of the last decade. A fall in the first-turn at the start of Race 1 left Benoit Paturel with a lot of work to do if he was to claim decent points. Not one to back down, he gritted his teeth and charged his way through the slop for an applaud-worthy third place finish.
There have been some classic mud-races over the years, and the MXGP of Russia has just added to that epic list. Paturel got off to a cracking start in the final race of the day but lost the lead and the advantage when he hit a slower rider who had fallen in a blind spot on the track. It was an unlucky crash for the hard-charging Frenchman which resulted in a pit-stop to have the mud cleared off of his hand-grips. He also had to change his gloves and goggles which were caked in wet clay. He returned to the race in twentieth place and managed to salvage twelfth which left him tied on 28-points - with his teammate Alvin Östlund - in fourth overall.
In the opening race of the day Alvin Östlund hydroplaned his way around the extremely soggy circuit for a season best result, eighth, which he went and bettered in Race 2. In the final race of the day, the talented Swede flaunted his technical ability as he hovered around the top five. He made a small mistake at the midway mark and was dropped back to tenth, but bounced back in extraordinary fashion for sixth place, and a career best overall result, fourth.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Brent Van doninck did not race today after a heavy crash while pushing the top three in Qualifying resulted in a sprained wrist. The Belgian will be back for the next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship which will take place at another new venue, Ottobiano, in Italy on the weekend of July 25th.
4th Place GP, (5th Place MX2 Championship Standings)
"I am frustrated. The second race didn't go how I wanted. I took a good start and was leading and then somebody was crashed on the only dry line so I hit him and crashed. I got stuck in the mud, my bike was so heavy. I think I was there for 2-Laps and then I went into the pit-lane to have some mud taken off, and then I got going again. I am not happy because I normally should have been with my feet on the box."
4th Place GP, (17th Place MX2 Championship Standings)
"I'm really happy with the result. I had no idea where I was in the race when I was racing because my place was not on my pit-board. I felt so slow out there, I thought I was around tenth place, but actually it was better. I don't really like the track when it's so muddy, but I am a smooth rider so when it's technical it suits my riding style."