The second race of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship, the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, was a busy affair for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP, with it being the home event for the team. Even the rain on race day could not dampen spirits! All three of the riders under the awning were eager to build on positive showings at the season opener.
Gautier Paulin has always loved the sand of Valkenswaard – it was actually the site of his last overall victory. Paulin immediately reminded everyone just how fast he can be around the Dutch venue, as he set fast times in practice and that translated to some impressive speed in the first moto on Sunday. Paulin started well and stayed consistent in difficult conditions to bag a fifth at the chequered flag. A first turn fall in moto two left him with a significant amount of work to do, yet he still pulled through for eleventh in the moto and eighth overall on the day. Fifth is the position that he occupies in the series standings.
It was a turbulent affair for Jeremy Seewer and his YZ450FM, despite the fact that he started so well in race one. A fall on lap one left him at the back of the pack and he therefore had plenty of work to do, but he pushed up to fourteenth at the chequered flag and salvaged some points. A crash in turn one in race two – the same one that claimed his teammate – forced him to retire with a bent machine. Nineteenth overall was his ranking at the end of the weekend and he now runs ninth in the standings. Arnaud Tonus was fifteenth overall after being hindered by mistakes throughout the weekend. A seventeenth and a fifteenth were his moto scores.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP now turn their attention to the first flyaway event of the term, the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, which will be run in just two weeks.
Gautier Paulin: “My start was good, but there was a big crash and then I got caught. It is a shame we had an issue yesterday. No excuses, but to have fourteenth gate pick here was really tough. The crash at the start of the second race I hit the bank really hard and my ribs, so I struggled to breathe the whole moto. Otherwise, my feeling was good here. I felt strong, but it was a bad weekend overall.”
Arnaud Tonus: “This weekend was super hard. Yesterday I felt alright, my speed was good. I felt good in the warm-up too. I had a good start in the first race but got cleaned out by Pauls Jonass and there was nothing I could do. I had to battle back from dead last. In the second moto, I stalled the bike and that was terrible. Not sure what happened there, but I got it going and then crashed twice. It was a horrible weekend. Now we have a weekend off, which will be good for my thumb to give it some time to recover.”
Jeremy Seewer: “Ending this weekend with a DNF is really tough. I had two super good starts. In the first race, I crashed on my own and had to start in the middle of the pack. That is never good in these conditions. My goggles got filled with sand and then I needed to change goggles, and it was a complete disaster to finish fourteenth. In the second race I had a technical issue with my front brake, but still got a good start. Jorge Prado crashed in front of me though, and I hit his bike full gas and went down.”