The Monster Army closed out the 2011 FIM Motocross World Championship with a double victory in the inferno that was Fermo and the Italian Grand Prix thanks to dynamic French duo Gautier Paulin and Christophe Pourcel. The last rendezvous of the season for the GP stars took place on the near-vertical slopes of the circuit close to the Adriatic coast and under some fierce sunshine it was Monster Energy Yamaha’s Paulin who shone the brightest in what was his debut in the premier class on the factory motorcycle.
The tall and talented racer powered the injured Steven Frossard’s machine to pole position on Saturday across the rippled Italian hardpack terrain and then blew away the competition in the first 35 minute and 2 lap moto. The twenty-one year old stepped into the breach after making sure of fourth place in the MX2 championship last week in Germany and was up for the challenge of the Fermo hillside on the more powerful YZ450FM. In the second race he went toe-to-toe with countryman CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel and after posting a laptime in the middle of the moto that was as sizzling as the temperatures cooking the 18,000 gathering of fans all weekend, Paulin rode his own pace to secure a memorable win, easing to second position behind the smooth and impressive Kawasaki ace.
“For sure I am really happy and I didn’t really know what I could expect for my first MX1 GP,” ‘GP21’ said. “In the first race I made the holeshot and was on my own so I sent my rhythm and just rode out the moto. In the second it was really good fun to race with Christophe and we passed each other but the track was getting harder and harder with more bumps. I knew I was winning the grand prix so I did not want to go crazy. With Monster Energy Yamaha we did something special today.”
CLS Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle walked the second step of the MX2 podium after blitzing the field in the first moto but having no answer to Jeffrey Herlings in the second scrap. The Brit was joined on the box by team-mate Max Anstie who finally dropped his ‘fourth position curse’ – struck on six occasions in 2011 – and picked up a trophy with third.
At the end of play, after fifteen races and six months of motocross fury, Monster Energy can toast a second position in the MX1 Championship thanks to Steven Frossard and third spot in MX2 courtesy of Searle’s spiky aggression.
With the Grand Prix season all wrapped up attention now turns to the big one…the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations will celebrate 65 years in a matter of days as the vast track of St Jean D’Angely gets ready to welcome a massive crowd and the world’s best. 35 countries are slated to duke it out for the Chamberlain trophy. Will the French be able to manage an awesome victory on home turf? Will the British, Germans or Australians spring a surprise or will the all-conquering Team USA head home with the garland for the seventh year in a row? In the coming days Monster Energy will keep tabs on the build-up, atmosphere and action with a series of videos and pics right from the heart of the event.