Third position in front of 26,000 sun-kissed spectators at Indaiatuba for the Grand Prix of Brazil and the fourth round of fifteen in the FIM MX2-GP World Championship gave Monster Energy Yamahas Gautier Paulin his first podium finish of 2011.
The Frenchman was back to fitness after the intercostal muscle problem that affected his performances in Holland and the USA and made the most of two decent starts and a positive synergy around the twisty and jumpy track to tread the rostrum steps. Paulin was third in both motos on the prototype YZ250FM and looked fast and comfortable across the rough red dirt. The former European Champion had no answer to the speed of Ken Roczen and Jeffrey Herlings and completed two fairly lonely 35 minute and 2 lap motos but this was a large step forward for GP21 in terms of points and confidence.
Paulin was the first of five Yamahas in the final MX2-GP Brazilian classification. In fifth position was Bike it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamahas Zach Osborne. The American posted a solid haul of points despite the discomfort of a badly sprained right wrist, the pain of which even caused the British Champion to vomit before the races. In seventh was Christophe Charlier whose improving fitness and run to sixth place in the second race (a season-best so far) was encouraging to see. Arnaud Tonus was eighth and disappointed not to find a rhythm that would allow him higher than seventh and eighth in the motos. The Swiss has a sore shoulder after his heavy fall at Glen Helen last week and even suffered another small spill in Moto2. Harri Kullas completed the top ten and the Fin was another faller in the second sprint.
Five YZ250Fs lie in the first ten of the MX2-GP World Championship standings. Osborne leads the way in fourth place and is two points ahead of Paulin. Tonus (seventh), Kullas (eight) and Charlier (tenth) follow.
St Jean dAngely will host the Grand Prix of France and a home event for Gautier Paulin and Christophe Charlier in two weeks time.
Gautier Paulin, 3rd:
Im pretty happy to be back on the podium. Third place is not the best position but this is a pretty good start. Ken and Jeffrey are very fast but I know what I have to do. I can improve from this. The whole of Monster Energy Yamaha team are behind me and I can feel their support and I must get in the habit of pushing hard at the beginning so I can think about victory. I will be working on this before my home Grand Prix.
Zach Osborne, 5th:
Considering the circumstances, the day went OK but I feel like I am long overdue a podium. I have the speed every weekend, I put in the effort and my endurance is good but my wrist has been hindering me. I struggled today with my grip because the pain medication was making my arm go to sleep. To take 32 points is pretty good but it was not really want I wanted from the day. The track was pretty awesome. Even though there were a lot of jumps it was naturally set; there were some hills and stuff too with some challenging obstacles. It has been such a good event because the infrastructure here is like nothing else in the world and in my opinion there is nothing better in world championship motocross. I think it should be a model for GPs and has everything as a racer wants to see when you come to a grand prix. There were so many people and it cool to race in front of a crowd like that; we were doing whips on the sighting lap and they were going crazy.
Christophe Charlier, 7th:
Im happy with this weekend, especially the second race because I had a good start and could make a good rhythm. I feel Im not physically totally ready, but now I am working with Willy Linden and sure when Im fit I can get better results. The track was nice and I had fun but the ground was soft and tough on the arms.
Arnaud Tonus, 8th:
I had a great race in Brazil last year and I really enjoy this country but today it did not work out. I had a bad start in the first moto and wasnt on good form. I could not get on the gas, the rhythm wasnt there. I was disappointed with seventh. In the second moto Harri Kullas crashed in front of me so I lost time behind him. I fought back but then crashed myself. After that I gave my best to finish eighth. I took some points but it was a difficult weekend.
Harri Kullas, 10th:
I couldnt push today and I dont know why. I had a good start in the second moto but the sun was already low and I entered a rut in the rhythm section that had water inside and I lost the front wheel. Someone hit me and by the time I could get going again I was twentieth or something. I passed some people and got up to ninth and couldnt make the gap smaller to Tonus. Im quite disappointed with this GP and I am crashing too much this season. Last year I was more consistent and I have to turn this around.
2011 MX2-GP Brazil
Indaiatuba 22/05/2011 20 Laps
1 Ken Roczen KTM GER 39’15.768
2 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 0’11.475
3 Gautier Paulin Yamaha FRA 0’25.125
4 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 0’30.571
5 Zach Osborne Yamaha USA 0’33.134
6 Max Anstie Kawasaki GBR 0’50.044
7 Arnaud Tonus Yamaha CHE 1’08.177
8 Joel Roelants KTM BEL 1’27.061
9 Christophe Charlier Yamaha FRA 1’31.079
10 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 1’34.871
11 Harri Kullas Yamaha FIN 1’38.351
12 Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA -1Laps
13 Pascal Rauchenecker KTM AUT -1Laps
14 Nicolas Aubin KTM FRA -1Laps
15 Hector Assuncao Honda BRA -1Laps
16 Petar Petrov Yamaha BGR -1Laps
1 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 40’16.791
2 Ken Roczen KTM GER 0’06.333
3 Gautier Paulin Yamaha FRA 0’07.549
4 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 0’08.581
5 Zach Osborne Yamaha USA 1’03.018
6 Christophe Charlier Yamaha FRA 1’06.261
7 Max Anstie Kawasaki GBR 1’22.763
8 Arnaud Tonus Yamaha CHE 1’45.085
9 Harri Kullas Yamaha FIN 1’48.467
10 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 1’52.473
11 Joel Roelants KTM BEL 1’56.127
12 Pascal Rauchenecker KTM AUT -1Laps
13 Hector Assuncao Honda BRA -1Laps
14 Nicolas Aubin KTM FRA -1Laps
15 Valentin Guillod KTM CHE -1Laps
MX2-GP World Standing
Rider Standings After Race 4 of 16
1. Ken Roczen KTM GER 191
2. Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 177
3. Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 156
4. Zach Osborne Yamaha USA 122
5. Gautier Paulin Yamaha FRA 120
6. Max Anstie Kawasaki GBR 116
7. Arnaud Tonus Yamaha CHE 108
8. Harri Kullas Yamaha FIN 96
9. Joel Roelants KTM BEL 90
10. Christophe Charlier Yamaha FRA 89
11. Nicolas Aubin KTM FRA 73
12. Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 61
13. Pascal Rauchenecker KTM AUT 42
14. Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA 40
15. Petar Petrov Yamaha BGR 31
16. Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM BEL 31
17. Glenn Coldenhoff Yamaha NED 31