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Paulin podium celebration 3rd position overall at MXGP Trentino 2019
NEWS

Paulin climbs the podium at Trentino thriller

Apr 072019

Four rounds into eighteen for 2019 MXGP and this frenetic sport has already delivered a barnstormer of a spectacle.

Things initially looked gloomy last week in northern Italy as the FIM World Championship contemplated its third fixture in three weeks and a soaked Pietramurata facility was muddy and grey for the Grand Prix of Trentino.

Thankfully the showers eased as the paddock formed-up and the plethora of rain was actually a blessing on the tight and compact hard-pack because the dirt softened and roughened and permitted some gripping action between Tony Cairoli and Tim Gajser for the overall victory. Gajser, cheered by one of the biggest and most boisterous pockets of partisan fans from Slovenia around the packed facility, eventually triumphed ahead of the Sicilian but the closeness of their duel in both motos and Cairoli’s surprising mistake with two laps remaining in the final race kept the tension ramped to the max.

At some distance but in a comfortable third position was Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin. The Frenchman picked up his second piece of silverware this season. “It always feels good to be on the podium and I am happy to be on the box,” GP21 said. “I know I have some work to do to step up and challenge the leaders because I want to join the battle for the lead. It is nice to battle hard for a position, as a racer, and it is cool to listen to the crowd go crazy. I could hear them this weekend and that was pretty special. Now we will go back to work to make the bike better, to make myself better and hopefully be in that battle at Mantova."

 

While Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle struggled with injury and was forced out of the second race, Paulin’s teammate Arnaud Tonus weathered his own handicap with illness to post a very decent 4th overall: the luckless Swiss’ best result since the 2017 Swiss GP. "It is hard to explain how I feel after the struggle I have been faced with over the last week,” he revealed. “It is pretty unbelievable. I am so happy I was able to fight through it and find some inside strength. I did not tell anyone I was unwell, because I did not want it to affect me mentally. 4-4 this weekend is absolutely amazing.”

Jorge Prado ruled MX2 in now-customary fashion but Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha’s Jago Geerts invaded the podium for the second weekend in a row. The young Belgian is negotiating his second Grand Prix year and is currently mining a deepening well of confidence. Teammate Ben Watson drilled his way to third place in the second race after a determined relegation of championship leader Thomas Kjer Olsen. “I had really good speed and really enjoyed the track this year as it was really rough, especially in the second heat and I like that,” Geerts said.

 

Trentino mixed key ingredients of a tight tussle, two riders on peak form, a large and noisy crowd and unpredictable scenes to memorable effect. MXGP now breaks for a month – courtesy of the rescheduled Chinese Grand Prix – but the fans will be hungry for more come Mantova (Italy again) in May.

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