The entire Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team were absolutely honoured to welcome the King of The Netherlands to their awning at the Motocross of Nations this weekend. The crew were present with Gautier Paulin – the leader of Team France – who proudly rode with the big number-one plate after success at the previous edition of the MXoN.
The qualifying race took place in tough conditions, as a considerable amount of rainfall fell just as the gate dropped in front of 74,000 fans. Paulin was consistent and crossed the chequered flag in eighth, which was a large part of the reason why Team France were able to take seventh ahead of the points-paying races. A superb ride in the first race on Sunday had the fans on their feet, as he started right on the cusp of the top ten and then charged into fifth in the end. Paulin was multiple seconds faster than anyone else at points in that moto.
Conditions had worsened by the time that gates dropped on the last race at the 2019 Motocross of Nations. Paulin settled into tenth after a poor start, however, and looked set to lead Team France to the podium. A freak problem forced him to withdraw prematurely though and that left him down in tenth in the individual MXGP classification. Team France ended the race in fifth overall, with Paulin delivering their best result of the weekend.
The 2019 Motocross of Nations marked the end of the season for the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP outfit. When the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship, they will be the full-factory Yamaha squad in the premier class. Jeremy Seewer will join Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus beneath the awning.
Gautier Paulin: “We have won five times in a row. This was a big highlight of the Motocross of Nations for Team France, but all good things come to an end and today we have to accept the fail. I was very happy with my teammates – we put in a good amount of effort to be on the podium and on the second to last lap I ran out of fuel. It is tough to accept, but I had a great experience this weekend. The track was gnarly, but the atmosphere and fans were incredible. Thanks to the public, and congratulations to The Netherlands on the win. It was a wet and gnarly weekend but, as always, it was a weekend that we all enjoyed and it will give us a lot of memories.”