After months of speculation, the news that Gautier Paulin has signed to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP has been released. Paulin spent the last few years at Team Honda HRC in the MXGP series and while there were many high points to their time together, the 2016 season was marked by challenges. Paulin missed a number of races due to injuries and struggled at other events.
With Paulin now on Husqvarna, the brand has three capable riders in the top division of the MXGP series with the continuation of Max Nagl’s contract and the bump up of Max Anstie. Here’s the full press release regarding Paulin’s signing…
Husqvarna Motorcycles are pleased to announce the signing of Gautier Paulin to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team where he will compete on Husqvarna’s FC 450 machine throughout the 2017 and 2018 season. The former MXGP series runner-up will enter the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship alongside teammates Max Nagl and Max Anstie.
One of the fastest talents in MXGP today, the 26-year-old Frenchman has a total of eight MX1 and MXGP overall class victories to his credit, with the highlight of his illustrious career coming in 2015 when he placed as runner-up in the MXGP World Championship. Helping Team France secure victory at the 2016 Motocross of Nations at Maggiora, Gautier has been a part of France’s winning MXoN team during the past three years.
No stranger to top-level motocross competition Paulin made his FIM Motocross World Championship debut in 2007, before going on to commit to a full GP schedule two years later. Wrapping up his career in MX2 with three GP victories and a strong third overall in the 2009 championship, he then moved up to the premier class for his first full season in 2012.
As a welcome addition to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing squad, Gautier Paulin will join highly experienced MXGP campaigner Max Nagl and 450cc rookie Max Anstie in a hugely promising MXGP team that will continue to be managed by former GP racer Antti Pyrhönen.
Gautier Paulin – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing: “I’m really excited to be part of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. In our sport there are no limits to improvement and I believe I’ve got everything I need now to take my riding a step further. I’m in a very professional team that’s proven they have the potential to win championships. We have a very good base in terms of equipment and the best support to battle for the top. Obviously, I need time to adapt to my new bike but my goal is to get the best feeling I ever had on a bike. With 20 rounds announced for next year’s MXGP series, it’s going to be more important than ever to remain consistent and stay away from injuries. My plan is to work harder than ever to get familiar with the bike and prepare myself for every different kind of track.”
Robert Jonas – Vice President Husqvarna Motorsport: “Gautier Paulin has been one of the best riders in MXGP for quite some time and we are excited to have him on board. We strongly believe he has the speed to win GPs and a vast amount of experience to remain in the battle for championship honours during the next two seasons. For us the MXGP series is the pinnacle of international motocross competition and we’re happy to be further strengthening our presence with three top-level riders for 2017. It’s going to be an exciting season and everyone involved within the Husqvarna Motorsport team can’t wait to see our riders battle for the top once the new season begins.”
Antti Pyrhönen – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team manager: “We’re really looking forward to working with Gautier Paulin. Gautier is a true professional motocross racer and I believe he will be a perfect fit to our team alongside Nagl and Anstie. He is extremely motivated to succeed and he has already shown his huge potential in the past. His speed and riding technique are simply unquestionable. We’re very happy that he joins our team for the next two years. Our goal is to provide him with all the necessary tools in order to battle for podium results and GP victories as soon as the new season starts.”