The wide and flowing man-made clay track in Afyon was heavily ripped to improve line choice. The hot summery conditions meant frequent watering, which made for sea-deep ruts and gnarly bumps that demanded caution and careful line-selection.
Finding smooth lines was the key to Seewer's fourth place finish in the opening race of the weekend. The Swiss rider got off to a decent top-five start and quickly moved into fourth position where he remained undisrupted for the entire 30-minute plus 2 lap duration of the race.
Paulin delivered a strong performance as he followed his YZ450F mounted teammate, Tonus, through the pack and eventually passed the number '4' with 3-laps remaining.
After an exciting battle with the new World Champion, Tim Gajser, Tonus was demoted to seventh on the final lap.
The Afyon venue is situated approximately 1000m above sea-level which meant the YZ450F race machines had to be re-tuned for maximum performance. Seewer proved that his YZ450FM had fantastic output regardless of the high altitude by taking an impressive holeshot. Unfortunately, the '91' was swallowed by a frantic first lap where he was shuffled back to seventh position before being slammed to the ground by another rider.
As Seewer remounted in 16th position, Paulin challenged and claimed sixth position while Tonus struggled to muster enough energy to excel on the rut riddled square edged circuit. A valiant attack from Seewer in the second half of the race saw the Swiss rider bounce back from the nasty fall to finish eighth position while Paulin held on for sixth. Tonus was 15th.
Paulin and Seewer made up the top-7 respectively, while Tonus finished on the same points as the rider in eleventh position.
Seewer remains 43-points clear of Paulin in the battle to be crowned vice World Champion in 2019, while Tonus remains fifth in the Championship Standings with one round remaining. The 18th and final round of the MXGP World Championship will take place in Shanghai, China, in five-days' time.