Following a long break, which gave the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP outfit a lot of time to regroup after a successful start to the term, the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship continued at the historic circuit of Mantova this past weekend. The circuit played host to the Grand Prix of Lombardia.
It was a tale of two days at the fifth round, as the qualifying motos were run in beautiful conditions and on a perfect circuit. The weather deteriorated overnight though and turned the event into a wet affair. Gautier Paulin was not to be deterred though and, after qualifying in third on Saturday, started inside of the top ten in the first premier-class race. The track was difficult to pass on, according to most, but he still charged up to sixth at the chequered flag and set himself up well for the second encounter later in the day.
The power in the YZ450F helped Gautier Paulin power through the thick mud and exit the first corner inside of the top three in the second MXGP encounter. There was plenty of shuffling around in the first few laps, which was to be expected in the pouring rain, but Paulin eventually settled in fourth and held that spot until the chequered flag, knowing it was more enough to put him in third overall and help him edge closer to the rider who sits in second in the current championship standings.
Arnaud Tonus was not so fortunate in the mud, unfortunately, as a crash-riddled first moto meant that he could only reach the chequered flag in twenty-fifth. Tonus then rebounded in race two to charge into tenth at the end of the thirty-minute stint. The eleven points that were acquired in that moto left him in fifteenth overall on the day and also caused him to lose two spots in the series standings. Tonus is now twelfth, after round five of eighteen.
The Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP squad will be back in action next weekend, as the sixth round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship will be held at Agueda in Portugal.Gautier Paulin: “Today we had a difficult track, but we worked really hard over the last five weeks and made a big step forwards with the bike. I didn’t expect this result, but I am happy to be on the box. I am already looking forward to the next GP in Portugal. I really enjoy the track there so I cannot wait to get back behind the gate.”
Arnaud Tonus: “It was a tough day for me. I crashed in the start [in moto one] and then three or four more times, so it was just a rough moto for me. In the second moto I had a better start and managed to get up to tenth. I know I still have some things to work on, so I will keep working and come back stronger next weekend.”