The Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team made the lengthy journey over to the Grand Prix of Turkey this past weekend – Afyonkarahisar hosted a round of the world series for the second season in succession. 25,000 fans engaged with Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus at the penultimate round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship.
Paulin mentioned on a couple of occasions that he was looking forward to the Turkish stop, so there was a sense of positivity around the Wilvo tent heading into the weekend. Consistency was the name of the game for him. A fifth in the qualifying race was a positive start to the seventeenth round and he then replicated that finish in moto one. There were a handful of entertaining tussles that took him to that result, as he battled with Tonus throughout the thirty-minute stint and kept fans on their toes.
The second moto was similar for Paulin, who started sixth and then fought to maintain that position to the chequered flag. Although he briefly dropped down the order at points, he did hit the finish line in sixth and occupied the same spot in the overall classification. Third is the position that he holds in the premier-class standings with just one round left to run. Eleven points is his cushion over the rider in fourth, so there is a bit of breathing room.
Arnaud Tonus had a tricky time of it in his first visit to the Afyonkarahisar facility. A seventh in the first race was a solid way to begin proceedings, but he was restricted to sixteenth in the second race. Twelfth overall was his final ranking at the end of the weekend. Tonus sits fifth in the standings now, with just two motos left to run. Twenty-six points separate him from the rider in fourth and there are fifty points up for grabs, so there is still room to climb up the order.
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP now face an even longer journey across the globe, as the final round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship will be run at a new venue in Shanghai. The Grand Prix of China will be the eighteenth stop of the season.
Gautier Paulin: “Actually my starts cost me a good result this weekend. A good start was important today, with the track being so rutty it was difficult to change your line to make a pass. Everything else was there. The track was really rough, but I enjoyed it and I felt good. My YZ450F was really good too, both with the suspension and engine. Physically I felt awesome, so I am looking forward to China.”
Arnaud Tonus: “Race one was alright considering I had a bad feeling on the track yesterday. In the second moto, I was completely off and tired for some reason. I don’t even know how I ended up, but I was completely drained of energy. I will try to recover and regain some energy for China next week.”