Paulin Seals Another Podium with One of his Best Rides, and Bobryshev Moves into Third in The World Championship
With motocross often comes the need to fight through injury and pain, and Gautier Paulin demonstrated today that he could do that in spades.
- Gautier Paulin
- Gautier Paulin
Carrying the right knee injury sustained just last weekend in the Czech Republic, coupled with the fact that this weekend Lommel was even more rutted and ragged than usual, Paulin was unsure how his knee would hold up.
After yesterday’s qualifying race, the Frenchman conceded that he felt more tired than if he’d done two motos, yet he regrouped today to come out fighting, setting the fastest time in warm-up by a crushing margin of 3.6seconds on the CRF450RW.
A strong ride in race one saw him take second behind Shaun Simpson, and then in race two they found their positions reversed. With Paulin taking the early lead, and setting the fastest lap, the pair were fighting for the Grand Prix victory. As the 30-minute moto went on, in temperatures of nearly 30 degree Celsius, the physical toll of this track started to show and Paulin slipped back to third.
Gritting his teeth and pushing through that pain barrier, he set about chasing down Romain Febvre, and even started closing on leader Simpson, to seal second and his fifth podium of the season.
Evgeny Bobryshev meanwhile also had a stellar weekend, recording two fourth place finishes to take fourth overall. Importantly, with his haul of points Bobby now moves into third position in the World Championship, with four races remaining.
As the temperature soared, the deep sand was even more treacherous and demanding than usual. Incredibly rutted, deep and bumpy, staying on the bike was a stern enough test, and physical and mechanical endurance to push to the end were really tested.
- Gautier Paulin
- Evgeny Bobryshev
- Roger Harvey: HRC General Manager – MXGP
- “Both Gautier and Bobby rode very good races today – strong and consistent without any real mistakes. Gautier did very well with the pain his knee was causing him and that really was a fantastic ride from him in a very difficult situation. Bobby also rode another two very consistent races using his head, and has been rewarded with third in the World Championship so we now hold the number two and three spots. I’m very pleased with the way everyone has worked this weekend, and whilst we are still aiming for the top we absolutely will work hard to keep both guys in the top three.”
- Gautier Paulin:
Race Result: 2nd, 2nd 2nd Overall
- “I gave 100 percent today, not one little bit less. With the situation with the knee, this feels as good as the win in Valkenswaard and I’m really happy. We’re always training here, but the track was pretty tough. I hurt my right knee in the first moto in Loket, so yesterday the qualifying was tough. I woke this morning more tired than if I made two GPs. I like to push my body to the limit, and this morning I said: ‘ok, now you have to get the job done so just push’. I want to thank HRC Honda because they have been working hard to make a big step with the engine which helped me a lot also today. I was really enjoying the track and feeling good on it with my riding. I needed to push 100 percent today right to the end, and I did it but I had to dig deep in my mind to overcome the pain. I’m really happy with this second, and now we’ll go and rest a bit and be back at full fitness for the next race.”
- Evgeny Bobryshev:
Race Result: 5th, 4th 4th Overall
- “I’m really pleased with the weekend. It was so tough here that actually I’m glad we’ve finished it. It’s like I’ve never seen Lommel before – so rough and bumpy. It was a good consistent weekend with just one or two little mistakes, so we have to be happy. It’s also a great feeling to see my name third in the World Championship. I know there are still four races left and anything can happen, but it’s great to be there at the top, and that’s where we want to stay this season.”
- Evgeny Bobryshev
Gajser Closed on World Championship Lead in Lommel
Just as the sun scorched the sand of Lommel this weekend, so the contest for the MX2 World Championship is also intensifying as the series enters its final phase with four Grands Prix remaining.
At the MXGP of Belgium today, Gajser was at the centre of that battle for the crown. After his crashes in qualifying yesterday, there was always going to be work to do today, and that’s exactly what the young Slovenian did with gusto.
From eleventh at the start of race one, Gajser quickly moved himself into the battle for fifth. In the deep and rutted Belgian sand, physical endurance was tested to the extreme, and Gajser proved just how fit he is. Pushing to the very end, he made the pass for fifth position on the final lap to take more crucial championship points.
Race two didn’t start as smoothly as might have been hoped for as Tim emerged from the first two corners down in 20th place. In a drama-filled opening few laps, as others fell foul of the increasingly demanding track, Gajser’s progress was rhythmic as he rose to cross the line in seventh, taking sixth position overall in the Grand Prix.
With just four rounds remaining, Gajser and the Honda Gariboldi Racing team are second in the MX2 World Championship, just four points shy of Pauls Jonass who leads, indicating just how close this title fight is.
On the other side of the garage on the #101 CRF250RW, unfortunately Jorge Zaragoza didn’t compete today, suffering the effects of a recurring infection in his tonsils that flares up in the wake of intense physical exertion, as experienced yesterday in qualifying. Without the physical power necessary to attack the deep and rutted sand of Lommel, he decided with the team that he would not race and will now focus on surgery to address the problem.
- Giacomo Gariboldi: Team Principal
- “I’m very happy with the result from this weekend because we knew it would be very tough but Tim got a lot more championship points at the type of track he doesn’t like so much and we leave here without any kind of injury. We are closer to the goal of the red plate and at this moment in the season the title is so open, and coming up next are tracks Tim will be very strong at. Unfortunately Jorge couldn’t race today because he felt too bad with the infection in his throat, so now he must focus on solving this problem so we can move on with training into next season.”
- Tim Gajser:
Race Result: 5th/7th Championship position: 7th
- “Actually I’m really happy that Lommel is now done! The sand is not my favorite ground, but anyway it was not so bad. We took some important points. The key this week was to stay on two wheels. I had solid starts and then could make passes and in race one finished fifth, but in the second race I’m a little disappointed because I went down in the first lap and was last. Still, to come back to seventh is important for points. For the championship, it is really tight. Last week I made a mistake, and this week Valentin, so it will be tough to the end and I think the person who makes fewest mistakes will win. At the moment it’s so close it sort of feels like Qatar, like starting the season again from zero, but the motivation is so high so we’ll keep pushing and see what happens.”
- Jorge Zaragoza:
Race Result: DNS/DNS Championship position: 24th
- “Unfortunately I couldn’t race today. I have an infection in my throat, in my tonsils, that came again last night after qualifying and when I have that I have no power in my body. I talked with the team and we decided not to race today, and now I must get surgery to correct this because every time I train hard or push hard physically, it comes again and I have to stop. I’m very disappointed, but we know what to do about it and will then focus on training and coming back stronger.”
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