Kawasaki dominates French series

Kawasaki dominates the French MX Championship by winning all three heats, eight podium positions and leading the MX1 championship, while Swanie scored a fifth overall at the British Championship.

After a five week break the French Elite Championship continued in Plomion (north of France), and once more David Vuillemin (Kawasaki Bud Racing) and Gregory Aranda (Team CLS) were the main contenders at this fourth round of the series. They shared victory in the three heats, but finally Vuillemin was able to clinch his fourth overall event win of the season. Gautier Paulin (Kawasaki Bud Racing) and Steven Frossard (Team CLS) also had a great day in Plomion as they both came back into the leading group of the series. Steven Frossard claimed a brilliant third place overall behind the MX1 Kawasakis of Vuillemin and Aranda, while Gautier Paulin recovered well after a race incident during the opening moto. Gareth Swanepoel (Kawasaki Racing Team) unveiled his best performance so far in the British championship where he currently stands in sixth position.

For the third time this season Aranda defeated all his rivals during the opening race, where he grabbed the holeshot and then resisted the assault of local hero Cyril Coulon. Always fast on this track, Coulon nevertheless went on to make several mistakes and finally finished fourth behind Steven Frossard and David Vuillemin; making another ‘all green’ podium. Vuillemin got a better start in the following race and after a few laps behind Coulon he passed him to lead until the flag and celebrate his fifth heat win, followed by teammate Gautier Paulin, Coulon and Aranda who recovered from a bad start. Aranda made sure of the holeshot in the final race despite strong opposition from Vuillemin and Coulon. The moto offered the best show to the public as Greg and David swapped the lead several times. Unfortunately Aranda crashed entering the final phases of the race and let Vuillemin win, while Steven Frossard secured another complete Kawasaki podium with a third position.

Among the MX2 riders Gautier Paulin was the victim of a race incident when Musquin crashed and pushed him to the ground soon after the start of the first heat. Several riders then hit the Bud Kawasaki on the ground, damaging the bike and forcing Gautier to retire. Steven Frossard was luckier as he came around in the leading group, battling with the 450s of Aranda, Vuillemin and Coulon for the lead. Paulin had a perfect start in the second heat, arriving to fourth behind Coulon and Vuillemin and battling for thirty minutes to secure second place behind teammate Vuillemin. Frossard missed a good start and had to move through the pack, eventually reaching sixth. Steven had a better start in the last heat and led the MX2 pack some meters behind Vuillemin and Aranda who tussled for the lead during the whole period. Riding consistently, Frossard finished third in the race and of the event overall, while Gautier Paulin came back to fifth after a bad start and a crash. Loic Rombaut produced his best race of the season with three consistent races and grab results of eighth, ninth and seventh to secure a seventh position overall.

Gareth Swanepoel was back in the UK this weekend for the third round of the British series at Brampton. Fourth in qualifying, ‘Swanie’ almost grabbed the holeshot in the first race and then survived a small mistake which saw him run off track. He lost some positions but then recovered to collect a strong second position behind series leader Brad Anderson. His second start was mediocre and the South African had recovered to fifth place behind Jason Dougan when he crashed hard. He crossed the finish line in twelfth position after managing to rejoin the race. Sixth overall, Gareth is currently fifth in the standings.

David Vuillemin – Kawasaki Bud Racing:
“It was a good weekend overall, but, as I’ve always said, I’ve no other goal than a win at each round of the French Championship. Except for the first race I enjoyed some great starts here, if I could do the same at the GPs then this would be perfect. I’d now like to be happier during the world championship, if I could qualify well and then have some good starts life would be easier. Concerning the French series I made a small gap over Greg in the standings, but there are two more races to go and we’ll need to be focused on our goal until the last heat in Iffendic at the end of July.”

Gregory Aranda – Kawasaki Team CLS:
“It’s good for the head to have such a good weekend, and I hope it will be something to build on for the rest of the season including the GP series. I was the fastest in all the practice sessions, and except in the second race I got very good starts here in Plomion. There’s nothing to say about my first heat, then in the second I came back from twelfth to fourth and I was satisfied as it was not so easy to pass on this slippery layout. In the third race we had some great racing with David, and it was perfect for me until the last five minutes when I made a small mistake and crashed. He got the win but I will fly optimistically to Portugal as this race proved that I have the speed and condition to race for a top ten result on a hard surface.”

Steven Frossard – Kawasaki Team CLS:
“It’s a good feeling to be only fifteen points behind Musquin, let’s hope that now I will be luckier with my performances in the French Elite as well as the GPs. I have recovered from my illness and was always racing for the podium in Plomion, except during the second heat when I got a bad start. It was important to avoid any mistakes here; I got my best result of the season and hope to do similar in Portugal next weekend.”

Gautier Paulin – Kawasaki Bud Racing:
“I had a good start in the opening race and passed Musquin when he crashed and hit me. I had to move for my safety as I was in the middle of track but several riders damaged my bike. I got my revenge in the following race, I had a great battle with Coulon who had an advantage with his 450 on this track but I passed him in the last laps to secure second place behind David. My start in the last race was not as good, and the track had become dangerous with many stones; I tried to ride safe but crashed on a slippery patch, and then came back to fifth. The track was a little bit perilous with slippery sections due to the watering and the stones, I didn’t want to take too much risks and I’m happy with the results as I’m now only four points from the leader of the championship.”

Loic Rombaut – Kawasaki Team CLS:
“I know this track since last year when I raced the European series here, and it’s mentally important that I have taken some good results here. I missed a good start in all the races, we have changed the settings of the bike on this fast track and I was not used to starting in first gear. I did three consistent motos to come back in the top ten. I felt good on this track and I had decent physical condition all weekend long. There were not so many lines for passing, but I found some places to do it. I expect to get some good results in the following GPs.”

Gareth Swanepoel – Kawasaki Racing Team:
“I was third at the start of the opening race, and then I made a small mistake and hit the fence, I was lucky not to be injured or to have damaged the bike. I lost some places but came back to second with good lap times, it was great to see that the hard work we did to improve my speed is paying off now. The second moto was more difficult, I started twelfth and had some trouble to find a good rhythm, but I did my race and came up behind Jason Dougan who was fourth. I knew I had to pass him for a podium result, but with two laps to go I made a mistake and had a big crash. I struggled to re-start the bike but luckily I was unhurt, and overall I’m happy with my results. I’m now much faster on the 450, it was one of my best weekends so far and now I need to get two good heats in a row.”

French Championship results round 4 Plomion:
French championship – round 4 – heat 1:
1.Aranda, Kawasaki, MX1
2.Frossard, Kawasaki, MX2
3.Vuillemin, Kawasaki, MX1
4.Coulon,Suzuki, MX1
5.Van Horebeek, KTM, MX1
8.Rombaut, Kawasaki, MX2
DNF. Paulin, Kawasaki, MX2

French championship – round 4 – heat 2:
1.Vuillemin, Kawasaki, MX1
2.Paulin, Kawasaki, MX2
3.Coulon, Suzuki, MX1
4.Aranda, Kawasaki, MX1
5.Van Horebeek, KTM, MX2
6.Frossard, Kawasaki, MX2
9.Rombaut, Kawasaki, MX2

French championship – round 4 – heat 3:
1.Vuillemin, Kawasaki, MX1
2.Aranda, Kawasaki, 1
3.Frossard, Kawasaki, MX2
4.Tonus, KTM, MX2
5.Paulin, Kawasaki, MX2
7.Rombaut, Kawasaki, MX2

French championship – round 4 – Overall
1.Vuillemin, Kawasaki, MX1, 70 points
2.Aranda, Kawasaki, MX1, 65 points
3.Frossard, Kawasaki, MX2, 57 points
4.Tonus, KTM, MX2, 45 points
5.Van Horebeek, KTM, MX2, 44 points
7.Rombaut, Kawasaki, MX2, 39 points
8.Paulin, Kawasaki, MX2, 38 points

French championship, Classification after 4 rounds, MX1:
1.Vuillemin, Kawasaki, 272 points
2.Aranda, Kawasaki, 246 points
3.Coulon, Suzuki, 150 points
4.Renet, Suzuki, 100 points
5.Beaudoin, Honda, 63 points

French championship, Classification after 4 rounds, MX2:
1.Musquin, Honda, 175 points
2.Paulin, Kawasaki, 171 points
3.Frossard, Kawasaki, 160 points
4.Tonus, KTM, 148 points
5.Boissière, KTM, 140 points
7.Rombaut, Kawasaki, 115 points

British Championship results round 3 Brampton:
British championship MX1 – round 3 – heat 1:
1.Anderson, Honda
2.Swanepoel, Kawasaki
3.Noble, Suzuki
4.Dougan, CCM
5.Nunn, Suzuki

British championship MX1 – round 3 – heat 2:
1.Anderson, Honda
2.Noble, Suzuki
3.Mackenzie Billy, Honda
4.Dougan, CCM
5.Columb, Suzuki
12.Swanepoel, Kawasaki

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