GAUTIER PAULIN THIRD OVERALL IN MUDDY RUSSIA
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING RIDER BATTLES CHALLENGING CONDITIONS TO SECURE THIRD CONSECUTIVE PODIUM RESULT
Making the most out of an extremely challenging round 10 of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Gautier Paulin has secured a third consecutive podium result finishing third overall in the MXGP class at the GP of Russia. In the MX2 category Thomas Kjer-Olsen stamped his mark on the event with an impressive opening moto win before finishing eighth overall.
The MXGP of Russia proved to be a battle of attrition as heavy rain ensured hugely challenging, muddy conditions. Successfully battling his way through the mud, Gautier Paulin showed himself as a strong contender for the top three in both MXGP motos. Collecting fifth in moto one and then third in moto two, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider earned a spot on the final MXGP class podium. Currently third in the championship standings, the Frenchman managed to reduce his gap to the provisional leader Antonio Cairoli to just 48 points.
For MXGP class rookie Max Anstie, the GP of Russia proved to be the most successful in the Brit's brief career in the 450cc class. Earning a season best fourth place result during the opening class moto, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider was battling for the runner-up spot in the overall standings until the last moments of the final moto. Suffering a small fall on the last lap, Anstie got fifth in moto two to wrap up the MXGP of Russia with a strong fourth overall.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Max Nagl endured a GP of mixed emotions in Russia. Enjoying a great pace in the qualifying race, the German suffered a crash while racing in second. With conditions changing for the final motos on Sunday, Nagl battled through pain to collect 8/11 results for 10th overall at the GP.
In the MX2 category, the highlight of the GP for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team was Thomas Kjer-Olsen's impressive victory in the opening class moto. Getting off to a great start under heavy rain, the Dane got the lead on lap two and never looked back. Suffering a crash a few corners after the start of moto two, Kjer-Olsen got 20th for eighth overall at the GP.
Following his strong third place result during MX2's qualifying race, Thomas Covington was fast despite muddy conditions in Sunday's final motos. Collecting 9/16 results the American got 14th overall at the Russian GP.
Fighting his way forward after bad starts in both MX2 final motos, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Conrad Mewse got two top 20 results for 16th overall in Russia.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at round 11 of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship in Ottobiano, Italy on June 24/25.
Gautier Paulin: "It was a tough GP so to get one more podium result is vital for the championship. I had a great feeling during qualifying on Saturday. My speed was great and I found myself leading for a few laps before finishing second. With weather conditions changing dramatically on Sunday, things were completely different for the final motos. In moto one I struggled to keep my goggles clean and that made things even harder. Not getting a decent start I had to push hard to get fifth at the end. Then in moto two I had a good start and worked my way through to fourth before crashing with a slower rider. Luckily, I managed to pick myself up and get third in moto two. Overall, it's been a positive weekend and I really liked the progressive power of my Husqvarna in these conditions. Getting a podium result was important and surely we're looking for more in the coming GPs."
Max Anstie: "It's been a good weekend for me despite tough conditions. Battling for the runner-up spot until the last few laps, I managed to earn my best result for the season with fourth overall. I had a strong moto one in the mud and the rain. Despite coming out into the pits to replace my goggles and gloves I kept pushing and made some good passes for fourth at the line. Then in moto two I had a great start and was racing in third place for most of the moto. Building a 20-seconds gap to fourth I made a mistake and crashed on the last lap and that eventually dropped me to fifth. I'm happy with where we're at right now. We showed the speed is there despite tough conditions and we'll keep working hard to do even better."
Max Nagl: "I did my best this weekend. I had a good feeling on the bike so pushed hard for the lead in the qualifying race. Everything was going well and I was racing in second place before suffering a big crash that caused some pain on my left wrist. With all that rain falling on Sunday morning it was a big struggle even to finish each moto. In moto one there was so much water in the track and you had to be extra cautious to avoid mistakes and keep your goggles clean. Starting from outside the top 10, I managed to get an eighth place result. Then in moto two the track was destroyed in some parts and it all looked like a big, extreme enduro test. Getting 11th in moto two I finished this tough GP in 10th place and I'm happy about that."
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: "I was stoked to get the win in moto one and was hoping to do equally well in moto two. I had to dig deep for that first moto win. It was raining very heavily when we started the race so it was crucial to get a good start. Getting the lead a few corners later, I pushed hard trying to avoid mistakes. My goggles kept me good almost all the way to the finish line and that was crucial to get the win. Things didn't go that well in moto two. Soon after the start I had we crashed together with Hunter Lawrence and when I picked my bike up I saw that the front brake lever was broken. It is what it is I guess and we will continue working hard hoping for some more victories in the races to come."
Thomas Covington: "I started the weekend on a good note with third in the qualifying race. Unfortunately, conditions were far from ideal during the final motos and it all ended up being a big struggle to reach the finish. In moto one my start wasn't great but I made up a few spots to cross the line in ninth place. Moto two was a huge challenge for everybody. I had a few crashes during the race and even came into the pits to change goggles. After hitting the ground a few times my bike had picked up so much mud it was almost impossible to ride. Despite all that struggle it was good to collect 11 points for the championship and we're already looking forward to the following GP in Ottobiano."
Conrad Mewse: "Despite difficult conditions I felt good during Sunday. In moto one I had a bad start outside the top 20. Trying to ride fast while avoiding mistakes I managed to get as high as 13th and that was good. Then in the second moto my start was a bit better but as I was battling for the top 10 I saw another rider getting stuck in front of me in one of the most difficult uphill sections of the track and I lost a lot of time there and was hard to continue. It was a really tough GP but we managed to salvage twelve points for the championship. I will continue working hard hoping for better results in the next races."
Download all high-res images from the MXGP of Russia here.
Results – FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 10
MXGP – Overall
1. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 45pts; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 38; 3. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 36; 4. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 34… 10. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 23… 15. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 10; 16. Evgeny Mikhaylov (Husqvarna) 10; 17. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 9
MXGP – Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 16 laps, 35:07.381; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 35:26.901; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 35:31.476; 4. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 35:42.973; 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:55.843… 8. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 36:06.759… 11. Evgeny Mikhaylov (Husqvarna) 37:23.570… 15. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 15 laps, 36:31.597… 20. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 13 laps, 36:57.138
MXGP – Race 2
1. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 15 laps, 35:15.906; 2. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 35:30.860; 3. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 36:35.773; 5. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 37:00.483… 11. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 14 laps, 35:38.909… 13. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:45.143… 17. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 37:48.644
MX2 – Overall
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 42pts; 2. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 39; 3. Brian Bogers (KTM) 37… 8. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 26… 11. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 19… 14. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 17… 16. Conrad Mewse (Husqvarna) 12; 17. Giuseppe Tropepe (Husqvarna) 11
MX2 – Race 1
1. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 36:17.027; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 36:19.126; 3. Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) 36:22.635… 9. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 38:09.559… 13. Conrad Mewse (Husqvarna) 16 laps, 37:46.840; 14. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 37:58.549
MX2 – Race 2
1. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 15 laps, 36:56.146; 2. Brian Bogers (KTM) 39:28.430; 3. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 15 laps, 37:06.173… 9. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 13 laps, 42:06.616; 10. Giuseppe Tropepe (Husqvarna) 12 laps, 37:08.994… 16. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 11 laps, 38:29.359; 17. Conrad Mewse (Husqvarna) 10 laps, 38:49.530… 20. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 0 laps, 0:31.721
Championship Standings (After Round 10)
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 381pts; 2. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 334; 3. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 333… 9. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 223… 12. Max Asntie (Husqvarna) 180… 15. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 110… 19. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 68… 24. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 21… 28. Evgeny Mikhaylov (Husqvarna) 10… 32. Yentel Martens (Husqvarna) 6 Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 297; 3. … 9. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 200… 12. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 146… 15. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 101… 20. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 58… 23. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 21… 30. Yentel Martens (Husqvarna) 6
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 414pts; 2. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 369; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 317… 7. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 225… 18. Conrad Mewse (Husqvarna) 90… Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 62… 23. Brian Hsu (Husqvarna) 60; 24. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 54… 27. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 41… 32. Giuseppe Tropepe (Husqvarna) 18… 34. Caleb Ward (Husqvarna) 14; 35. Karel Kutsar (Husqvarna) 14… 41. Ivan Petrov (Husqvarna) 1… 44. Aaron Tanti (Husqvarna) 1