The Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP squad travelled north to the historic track of Uddevalla this past weekend, as the venue played host to the sixteenth event on the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship calendar. Although rain battered the circuit in the days prior to the event, clear skies prevailed on race day and created a technical racing surface.
Mistakes hindered both Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP riders in the first moto, but things got off to a positive start. Gautier Paulin led his teammate around initially, after qualifying in tenth on Saturday, and looked like he would be in a position to enter the top five towards the end. An untimely bobble resulted in a stalled machine though and put him in sixth at the finish line. It was still a consistent outing, and one that solidified his position in the championship standings, but there was also the potential to achieve more.
The second premier-class moto was a steady affair for Paulin, who started right on the cusp of the top ten and immediately tried to make progress on the tricky track. Eighth was the spot that he eventually acquired at the chequered flag, which put him in sixth overall on the day. Arnaud Tonus, his teammate, was seventh overall on the day, despite some mistakes in both races. Tonus was fighting for a spot in the top five in the first race but got caught up with another rider and eventually salvaged a twelfth at the chequered flag.
Tonus was en route to a great finish in the final moto, as he started in third and set some of the fastest lap times. Another small error towards the end caused him to fall down the order, much to his dismay, but he still reached the chequered flag in sixth to claim seventh overall at the Grand Prix of Sweden. Tonus is now fifth in the championship standings, but just three measly points separate him from the rider in fourth. One hundred points are up for grabs at the final two rounds.
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP will now enjoy a weekend off, before hitting the Grand Prix of Turkey at the relatively new circuit of Afyonkarahisar in two weeks. The squad will then venture into China for the grand finale.
Gautier Paulin: “The rain coming into this weekend was good for the track. The track was nice, and my bike was working well. I had a really good start in the first race, but then I stalled the bike in front of the pit lane and that cost me a few places. The second moto was a bit harder. My start was not as good and I struggled to make some passes and move forward, so I finished around eighth. Anyway, we keep moving forward.”
Arnaud Tonus: “It was a tough day. First race was going alright, but I had bad luck with Jeffrey [Herlings] crashing in front of me. My bike got stuck there. That was a shame. I only finished twelfth. In the second race I rode really good the whole moto and crashed at the end, so that was also a shame. Another tough weekend. There has been a few in a row now but all I can do is learn from it and come back next weekend.”