Two Kawasakis in the top six after Bellpuig

Both Gautier Paulin and Steven Frossard are currently in the top six of the MX2 World
Championship after the Catalan Grand Prix, round six of the FIM series.
Unlucky to leave Bellpuig with only two finishes of 16th position, Gautier is currently second in the
standings.

The 2008 edition of Spanish GP was still fresh in the mind and remarkable for being as wet as this
season’s opening round in Italy. Luckily the weather was perfect in Catalunya this weekend, and under
high temperatures the event took place on a familiar track for the competitors. Both the preparation and
the watering of the track play a major role in all the races, as the surface was either too dry or too slippery
depending on the sections.

Unfortunately two main victims of this preparation were the fastest Kawasaki riders of the pack, Gautier
Paulin and Steven Frossard. Seventh and eighth after the opening lap of the MX2 qualifying race on
Saturday, they both lost their chance to get a good result when Gautier slid on a wet corner. Too close
behind his countryman, Steven crashed also, and while he came back to twenty-sixth in the Heat Gautier
had to stop in the pits to collect a new pair of goggles. He then made several laps behind the race leaders
to study the lines and finally retired far afield while Steven came back fifteenth.

The starting area was another mix of dry and wet sections on Sunday and from his outside gate the World
Championship leader had the worst possible start as he hit soft ground on his line. Last on the first jump
of the track, Gautier passed thirteen riders during the opening circulation but then crashed and had to
come back from twenty seventh to sixteenth, only two ranks behind Marvin Musquin; the runner up in the
standings. From his fifteenth gate pick Frossard had a better start and produced a perfect lap to arrive to
seventh and then sixth; following Davide Guarneri since the third circulation although failing to find a spot
to pass him and ending the race in fifth place just behind the Italian.

Both Gautier and Steven had a better jump from the gate in Moto2, but this time the Bud Racing rider was
involved in a pile-up while the CLS representative reached eighth behind Van Horebeek. Following his
rival for most of the distance Steven again struggled to overtake and finally place sixth. Starting his race
thirty seconds after his rivals, Paulin made another great come back to sixteenth, and finally scored ten
points in Spain. It was not enough to secure a sixth consecutive red plate, as he is now second in the
standings only three points from Musquin. Twenty fifth in the opening race, Loic Rombaut scored two
points during the second heat after coming back from twenty fifth at mid race distance.

Next weekend all three riders will contest the penultimate round of the French Elite Championship, in
Brou.

Steven Frossard: ‘I had good lap times on Saturday during the practice sessions and I was expecting a
great result here but my fifteenth position on the grid didn’t help me with the starts. Unfortunately during
the qualifying race Paulin crashed and I couldn’t avoid him. The track preparation was not good; there
were just two metres of dry line where you had to stay, so it was difficult to pass. I finished fifth and sixth
and scored good points in both races, it could have been better but I stayed too long behind Guarneri in
the first race and Van Horebeek in the second. I lost my rhythm a little bit behind them and couldn’t pass
them.’

Gautier Paulin: ‘It was a difficult weekend. I had an average start in the opening race, passed a couple of
guys in the first lap but crashed on the second and again lost many positions. I came back to sixteenth,
just enough to score several points. My second start was much better and I was in the top twenty when I a
bike landed on top of mine! I lost quite a bit of time as I didn’t want any marshal to touch my bike, and
came back from last to sixteenth once more. We lost the red plate today but the championship will be
long, the most important thing for me is the way I raced today and my determination is the same whether
my front plate is red or black. Now I need to secure some good qualifying results because it’s so important
for Sunday’s races, and if I missed it this weekend it’s my fault and only mine as I crashed.’

Stephane Dassé: ‘Both riders rode strongly today but after his bad qualification on Saturday it was difficult
for Gautier to grab a good result. He was on the soft side of the gate and missed a good start in the first
race. In the second he was involved in a first corner pile-up. Then it was difficult to score good points, we
lost the red plate but we are happy with his riding.’

Jean Jacques Luisetti: ‘Steven didn’t perform so well on this track and for sure he couldn’t get a good start
with fifteenth place in the gate. We can’t say anything about his qualifying result, as another rider crashed
just in front of him and took him to the ground. But the track only had one line and it was necessary to
have a good start here, anyway he twice scored a top six result and that’s important for the standings. He
is not so far from the top three and that’s our goal this season, we’ll race with him for the title in 2010.
Concerning Loic we worked with him about his race approach; he scored some points here and let’s hope
that it will continue.’

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