The twelfth round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, the Grand Prix of Asia, was tackled by those at Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP this past weekend. Following a disappointing time at Palembang, both Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin were extremely eager to rebound and leave a mark in front of 50,000 fans.
After qualifying in tenth on Saturday, Arnaud Tonus grabbed a solid start in the first premier-class race and exited the first turn in sixth. There was no stopping him after that, as he excelled in the difficult conditions. Tonus picked his way through the field until he entered second place at the chequered flag, which matched his season-best finish. It is also worth noting that he was the fastest guy on track in the final portion of the race. Hopes were understandably high for the second encounter.
The second moto was different for Tonus, as he started inside of the top three and then engaged in a rather entertaining three-way tussle for the runner-up position. After exchanging positions, and making a mistake, he eventually hit the chequered flag in third and took second overall at the Grand Prix of Asia. Tonus is now fourth in the standings, with six rounds left. Nineteen points separate him from the rider in the runner-up spot.
Gautier Paulin endured a testing weekend on the unique Semarang surface, but was still en route to a top-five finish in race two. An untimely mistake put him eighth at the chequered flag though. When paired with his ninth from the first stint, he was classified in eighth overall on the day and occupies fifth in the standings after round twelve of eighteen. Three points separate him from his teammate, Arnaud Tonus, in fourth.
The Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha outfit will now return to Europe, following two weeks in Asia, and turn their attention to the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic on July 28.
Arnaud Tonus: “It feels great to rebound from a tough weekend in Palembang a few days ago and especially on this track. It was very hard to find the flow and a good feeling. It was very slippery and it took me a while to feel good out there. I felt better today than yesterday. We changed quite a lot of things on the bike ahead of practice today and I already felt better, which helped a lot. It was important to take your time today. I really went step-by-step, because it was too easy to make a mistake. Overall, I am super happy.”
Gautier Paulin: “This was our second GP in Indonesia and it has been tough. I didn’t hit my marks at all. I did not feel so good out there. I made a lot of changes ahead of the second moto and I felt much better. I was back in my rhythm, but it was too late. I had some fun. I crashed after pit lane and I finished eighth, which means the result did not show my speed in the second race, but I am happy to find my rhythm. Better late than never. I am looking forward to going back to Europe and lining up at Loket.”