Paulin Strengthens His Place Inside MXGP Top-3 as Seewer Moves into Sixth
In contrast to the dark and damp weather conditions, Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP's Gautier Paulin ran a piping hot pace around the rough and rutty circuit of Mantova at the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. As a result, he has strengthened his place inside the top-three in the Championship Standings after celebrating the Grand Prix of Lombardia-Italy on the third-step of the podium. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Jeremy Seewer has moved up to sixth position in the Championship chase after posting two solid scores for seventh overall.
After making some important strides in the set-up of his YZ450F during the 5-week break, Gautier Paulin felt good despite the extreme conditions this weekend. Renowned for his precision and unique line choice, the French ace did well to navigate the treacherous circuit of Mantova as he stormed from outside of the top-ten, after a rider fell in front of him at turn-one, to sixth in Race 1 where he remained lonely and unchallenged for the entire 30 minute plus 2-Lap duration of the race.
Going from strength to strength, Paulin got his YZ450F off to a blistering start in the final race as he chased the championship leader, Antonio Cairoli, around turn-one. He had hoped to latch onto the back of the nine-time World Champion but ended up making a mistake that cost two positions. Nevertheless, he managed to regroup for a fourth-place finish and was able to celebrate the Grand Prix with a bottle of champagne.
'To finish first, first you have to finish' was the quote of the day at the Lombardian Grand Prix. Jeremy Seewer put in two sensational performances as he charged from outside of the top-15 in both races for two top-10 finishes. While most riders would be happy to emerge from such a brutal Grand Prix with two solid scores, 7 - 9, the 24-year-old Swiss star leaves Mantova frustrated, yet determined, as he looks to the next Grand Prix that will take place next weekend in Agueda, Portugal.
Arnaud Tonus was one of seven riders that fell at turn-one in the opening race of the weekend. The Swiss rider was able to remount his YZ450F but with his bike and gloves caked in mud, returning to full race-pace proved difficult and he was only able to labor home a 25th place finish.
In the second and final heat of the day, Tonus was able to banish his Race 1 demons with a top-ten finish in Race 2.
Paulin uncorked his third bottle of bubbles this season and has strengthened his place inside the top-three in the MXGP Championship Classification. Seewer wound up seventh overall and has moved up into sixth position, while Tonus was 15th in the Grand Prix overall and is now 12th in the Championship.
3rd MXGP Overall, 3rd MXGP Championship Standings
"Today we had a difficult track, but we worked really hard over the last five weeks and made a big step forwards with the bike. I didn't expect this result, but I am happy to be on the box. I am already looking forward to the next GP in Portugal, I really enjoy the track there so I can't wait to get back behind the gate."
7th MXGP Overall, 6th MXGP Championship Standings
"Tough conditions today, so considering that, my result was okay. A lot of people have bad races in these conditions and I was able to post two solid results. When you look at it like that, you have to be happy. I was 7th overall in the GP which is two places behind where I want to be, and I moved up to 6th in the championship, but it is not about that right now. I want to do better; I just need to learn to get through the first few turns without being bullied."
15th MXGP Overall, 12th MXGP Championship Standings
"It was a tough day for me. I crashed in the start and then three or four more times, so it was just a rough moto for me. In the second moto I had a better start and managed to get up to tenth. I know I still have some things to work on, so I will keep working and come back stronger next weekend."