Gautier Paulin puts YZ450FM on Lommel podium Created: 2020-10-19
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP made the short jaunt to Lommel, Belgium, for round thirteen of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship today. The squad returned to full strength just in time for the race – Arnaud Tonus joined Gautier Paulin and Jeremy Seewer on track for the first time in three weeks. The Monster Energy MXGP of Flanders, the official title of the Grand Prix, was run behind closed doors.

Paulin has enjoyed success at the Belgian track in the past and it was clear why, as he romped to the fourth-fastest time in qualifying and then rocketed out of the gate in the first premier-class moto. Using a blend of speed and race craft, Paulin worked his way up from third to first in the first portion of the moto and found a way to manage his lead (that was around ten seconds) until the chequered flag waved. That was the third moto win of the season for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP.

The start in the second moto was not quite as strong for Paulin, who ended the first lap in sixth, but he put in a solid effort to reach the chequered flag in fifth place. That result meant that he jumped onto the overall podium for the first time in more than a year! Second overall was his ranking at the Monster Energy MXGP of Flanders. That result also helped him gain significant ground on the top six guys in the standings – he is just twenty-three points down on the rider in sixth now.

Seewer had an eventful time of it in the sand, as an incident on the first lap left him with a mountain to climb. Seewer battled back to fifth, incredibly, before a freak problem with his holeshot device cost him some valuable time. An eighth was still salvaged in that first premier-class encounter. The second race was kinder to him – he started inside of the top three and ended up third, despite a fall towards the end. That scorecard left him in fifth overall on the day. Seewer is now tied for third in the championship standings.

Tonus returned to racing and reminded everyone of just how capable he is, as he battled on the cusp of the top five in the first moto. Seventh was a great result, considering just how taxing the sand is and his lack of bike time. That was followed up by a fifteenth in race two, a result that left him in tenth overall and is a brilliant base to build off of in the coming days. Tonus sits eighteenth in the championship standings, despite missing the last three rounds.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team face a swift turnaround now, as the fourteenth round of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship is going to be run at the same Lommel circuit on Wednesday.

Gautier Paulin: “This is an emotional high. I am really happy to be back on the podium, especially for myself and my team. It has been a tough road and a long time since I had a win, so in the first moto I could have it. I was really pushing hard with a good rhythm. I did not really talk about it, but at the end of May I broke my back and knocked myself hard. To be back at this level… I’m really happy, because from the ground in hospital where I broke two vertebra it was a really hard time. I crashed again in Faenza, Italy, and hurt myself again. Now I am feeling 100% and I am really happy to be back again.”

Jeremy Seewer: “Lommel is always tough except when you are winning, and then I think you enjoy it. I felt okay today. I had a tip over on the first lap and was caught in the pack, almost last, but I had good speed and rhythm. I came back to fifth, but then I made another small mistake and had a technical problem. That cost me another three positions. I had a good start in the second race, which paid off. I felt solid in second position and threw it away with a stupid crash, but this is how it is at Lommel. If you are on the limit it’s really sketchy. I am still happy with third in that race but a little bit disappointed. At least we have another two rounds to make up for it.”

Arnaud Tonus: “From the couch to Lommel is very hard. I came here with only two days on the bike since my crash in Mantova, so I came here with no expectations. I just wanted to get through it and try to build up over the final six rounds. The first race was positive but I gave a lot of energy. In the second race I just wanted to finish the race healthy, so I was super slow but I managed to finish and it’s a step towards building up over the next rounds.”

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