It was a frustrating day for the Kawasaki riders in the twelfth round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship at Hyvinkää in Finland, but Gautier Paulin retained his second place in the series.
The prospects looked promising as Jeremy Van Horebeek, Paulin’s colleague in the Kawasaki Racing Team, set fastest lap in training but the young Belgian failed to get his usual good starts all weekend during the racing and went to the grid fourth on race day after finishing in that position in the qualification race. The tricky first turn again left Jeremy chasing from the opening lap in both motos, but he battled resolutely to the end each time, snatching fourth place three laps from the end of race one and only surrendering an identical finish to teammate Paulin two laps from the end of race two. His fourth consecutive brace of top five finishes has lifted the Belgian to seventh place in the standings.
Paulin was another rider to suffer in the unpredictable first turn and the Frenchman had to battle from ninth and eighth places to eventually cross the finishing line sixth and fourth despite setting lap times identical to those of the riders who completed the podium each time. He derived compensation for his vivid efforts on a difficult weekend as he retained his second place in the series standings after 12 GPs of the 17 round series.
Tommy Searle of Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit was denied the just rewards for two tremendous rides by the actions of others. The English rider was knocked off at the first turn of the opening moto and restarted in last place before charging forcefully to finish twelfth at the chequered flag. In the second moto he again had no luck at turn one but quickly advanced up the leaderboard from an initial 15th place to challenge forcefully for second place before twice being torpedoed off the track by the rider behind him. Tommy eventually crossed the finish line in eleventh position, whilst the rider who had cost him his podium placing was credited with third place even though he later received an official warning about his conduct. Searle retains sixth place in the series standings.
Jeremy Van Horebeek:
“Once again I missed the podium by just a few points; that’s frustrating! I missed some better starts this weekend. In the first race I had a good rhythm and passed Strijbos in the last ten minutes to finish fourth. My second start was not so good but I came back from twelfth to fifth. Here in Finland you had to fight with the track and also with the bike to go fast and I have to admit I was pretty tired by the end of the day”
“Two bad starts ruined my weekend as it was difficult to pass on this track, especially when you were in the pack. There were many ruts before the jumps and you didn’t know where the other riders would go, so you couldn’t keep your rhythm and I lost too much time to pass the slower riders. My speed was good but the results didn’t reflect that; it’s frustrating and I can’t wait to be at the next GP, as I want podium results. I know that I can get better results in sand, and it’s difficult to accept a fifth overall.”
“Someone hit me at the first start and put me down, then I had to come back from dead last with mud everywhere on me. I was half a minute behind the leaders at the start, so I did what I could to get back to twelfth at the finish. The second start wasn’t so good and I left turn one around fifteenth, but I fought back to third and was already attacking Strijbos for second when Desalle hit me a couple of times and put me down. I’m disappointed with the result but also happy because my speed was good, even if it was a sandy track.”