Bike it Cosworth Yamaha’s Zach Osborne used the agility of the 2010 YZ250F to negotiate some deep and hard-forged ruts at St Jean D’Angely to seal his second consecutive podium result with 3rd place overall at the Grand Prix of France. The talented American was a proactive force on a difficult circuit surrounded by 30,000 spectators.
Morning thunder storms had delivered a quota of rain that softened the French terrain and with MX1-GP, MX2-GP, 125cc two-stroke European series and FIM Women’s World Championship entrants all ploughing a course across the valley layout the course became rutty and unsettling for the motorcycles.
Osborne’s YZ250F coped admirably in the first 40 minute moto when he held second position for the second half of the sprint after passing Jeffrey Herlings. The runner-up of the USGP last week was undone however on the final corner as he hesitated behind a backmarker and the Dutchman pounced to relegate the 20 year old to 3rd. All hopes of a trophy seemed to have vanished on the first lap of Moto2 with a crash leaving Osborne near the rear of the pack and 28th on the first lap. A fantastic attack and trawl through the pack pulled the rider up to 9th and ensured his prize.
Paulin at home
Yamaha Monster Energy MX Team’s Gautier Paulin had a good and bad home grand prix. The 20 year old was superlative to seal his first ever pole position on Saturday. Mistakes through the first race – including two crashes while tussling for 8th place, one on the last lap leaving him 14th – were eradicated for Moto2 where he rode to a decent 4th for 8th overall to be the second-best Yamaha rider on the day.
Yamaha Monster Energy Gariboldi’s Christophe Charlier returned from his hand injury to post 9th at his first home Grand Prix and had his team buzzing with excellent speed to obtain 5th in the first moto and return from virtually last after a first-lap second moto crash to take 11th. Team-mate Harri Kullas was 11th. The Finn struggled to get rid of a light-concussion and fatigue from the trip to the USA during the opening phases of the weekend but made two bright starts for 11th and 8th. Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci MX team-mates Alessandro Lupino and Loic Larrieu were 13th and 20th overall respectively.
Osborne is 6th in the World Championship standings and needs just 6 points over Shaun Simpson to break into the top five. Kullas is 11th, Charlier 13th, Lupino 14th and Paulin 15th; despite missing the first four Grands Prix.
In the fourth round of seven in the FIM Women’s World Champion Yamaha 3C Racing’s Chiara Fontanesi aced her second podium of the season and won the second moto for her second career success (her first on the YZ250F). The Italian teenager was 2nd on the rostrum (a third career trophy) and now holds 4th spot in the standings.
The Grand Prix of Germany at Teutschenthal will represent the eighth round of fifteen and will take place in two weeks time.
Zach Osborne, Bike it Cosworth Yamaha:
“I made really hard work for myself in the second moto with a fall on the first lap so I was really surprised that I could get back on the podium. If the track had been as fast as it was yesterday then it would not have been possible to make up so much time. I have good speed and my fitness is also where I want it to be and the bike is working great; when all those come together then the results appear. I didn’t triple up the hill on the last lap of the first moto because I was a bit afraid of landing on the lapper and I didn’t think that Herlings was that close. I am a pretty aggressive rider normally and I am in good shape so that allowed me to attack the track in the second race. I just had to do what I could and I put everything into that ride.”
Gautier Paulin, Yamaha Monster Energy MX Team:
“I had a bad start in the first moto which was totally my fault. The track was really muddy and it was sticking to my boots and bothering the leg that I broke recently when I was landing from jumps or had the footpeg clogged; I was wary of it. I made mistakes and crashed twice, once with Tonus, and then on the last lap when I tried to overtake him again but went too hard into an off-camber rut and felt through the other side. It was a shame because my goal was to get on the podium but clearly that result made it impossible. The classification was not there for me today but my riding feels like when I am training and I am playing with the bike; so that is good. I had the best lap-time of the MX2 class in the second moto two laps before the end, at 37 minutes, so after two months of injury this proves that my fitness is good. I am going to push really hard in the next weeks to try and get on the podium and win some GPs as soon as possible.”
Harri Kullas, Yamaha Monster Energy Gariboldi:
“I am really happy about this weekend because I left the USA with a small concussion after that bridge fell on me, I was tired all week and couldn’t concentrate on Saturday but it all came good today. I had a decent night’s sleep and a better feeling on the bike. I had two good starts in the top ten and was riding smart and doing my best. Finally I won 11th overall which I was pleased with and now I will get some rest and prepare to be 100% in Germany.”
Christophe Charlier, Yamaha Monster Energy Gariboldi:
“I am happy to come back from my hand injury in this way. I was fifth for a long time in the first moto but then had a small crash and Roelants passed me. I started well in the second moto but then had another accident on the first lap and was so far behind. I just concentrated on taking as many riders as I could and was really pleased to reach 11th. My first home GP was fun and the crowd cheered me on every lap which felt special.”
Circuit Length: 1750