Paulin consolidate championship lead

Fifth in the Grand Prix of Benelux, Gautier Paulin increased his lead in the MX2 World
Championship and will go to Portugal in two weeks time as undisputed front-runner of the MX2
series.

Valkenswaard, along with Lommel and Lierop, is one of the most testing Grand Prix of the season, as the
sandy surfaces always bring some novelties to the results sheets. For riders not based in or from the
region and therefore perhaps not so accustomed to racing on sandy tracks there is always a new and
tough challenge, but for his fourth attempt on this kind of terrain Gautier Paulin confirmed that he is a
strong contender for the ’09 title.

On Saturday Gautier was already the best Kawasaki representative, as he came back from fourteenth to
sixth on his Bud Racing KXF250, far ahead of Steven Frossard who crashed in the first corner and was
near the back of the pack. The unlucky CLS rider made his way through the field to collect seventeenth
position, while Loic Rombaut finished thirty-second after several race incidents.

Rounding the first corner of Moto1 in the top ten, Gautier had a good rhythm and was holding third behind
Simpson and Gonçalves when he landed on a soft section of sand and crashed in the fifth lap. He just lost
two places and was charging back on his rivals when he made a mistake before a jump; it was a high
speed crash and his bike went into the fence, while the lucky Frenchman landed among the spectators!
When he quickly restarted in eighth spot Gautier had no more front number plate, no front brake and a
bent handlebar but that was not enough to stop him from finishing seventh. Both Steven Frossard and
Loic Rombaut retired after several crashes.

The track was more demanding for the second race but it was a better surface for the Frenchmen who all
improved their results. Again in the top ten at the start Gautier promptly arrived to fourth and had no time
to rest with several sand experts pushing right behind him. Confirming his good physical condition he
contained his rivals for more than thirty minutes, and scored fourth to grab fifth place in the GP, ahead of
his main rival Marvin Musquin who conceded ten points to Gautier. Steven Frossard avoided another
crash at the second start, and then rode safely to secure at least some points with a twelfth position while his teammate Loic Rombaut ended twenty-fourth despite several more spills.

The French riders will go for a French Elite round next weekend in Plomion, just a week prior the
Portuguese Grand prix.

Gautier Paulin: ‘I think that I was pretty lucky today, as I had a very big crash during the first race! I had a fall earlier when I landed on a soft part of the track but I just lost five seconds and again found my rhythm behind Guarneri when I struggled with different ruts before a jump; the bike landed in the barriers and I broke the front brake, lost the front plate and damaged the throttle cable. The front wheel was damaged too, and I was glad to be able to take the seventh place. I didn’t want to give up as I’m leading the championship and want to keep the red plate; I know that each point will be important at the end of the season. The second race was quieter, I finished fourth and I’m happy of my results this weekend as it was only my fourth or fifth race on a sandy track.’

Steven Frossard: ‘My weekend didn’t start well, as I crashed on Saturday at the start of the qualifying
race; I came back to seventeenth but on this track it was important to have an inside gate. In the first moto I crashed in the second corner and I restarted my race far behind the pack. I returned close to the points but I had no energy, as I was ill all week long and couldn’t prepare for this event in my usual way and I retired. I didn’t take any risks at the second start; I was twentieth and rode carefully to score at least ten points.’

Loic Rombaut: ‘I crashed several times this weekend, alone or with other riders and that was not the best
way to get good results on such a difficult track. Finally, during the last race I had my best feeling with the
track and that confirmed that I need more experience on sandy surfaces. During the first heat I stopped
when the leaders passed me, the marshals showed me the blue flags and it was difficult to stay focused. I
was twenty-second in the next heat when I crashed, I recovered to come back to twenty-fourth. Fnally I
preferred the track when it was rougher at the end of the day.’

Stephane Dassé (team manager Bud Racing): ‘Coming here in the Netherlands we knew that it could be
difficult for us and our goal was to keep the red plate, we’re starting to love it! Despite two crashes during
the first race Gautier got better results than we expected, and increased his lead in the series. We
continue to work hard, next Friday we’ve a round of the French Elite series and it will be another good
training session before Portugal and Spain.’

Jean Jacques Luisetti (team manager CLS): ‘We knew that this weekend would be difficult as sand is not
a natural surface for our southern riders! But we expected better than what they achieved, and I hope that
they will react next weekend during the French championship and later in Portugal for the fifth round of
the series. Steven was ill during the week, but that’s not enough to explain his performance and I wish in
the future that our riders will work as hard as our mechanics did to prepare for this Grand Prix.’

MX2
Overall
1 Rui Goncalves KTM 47
2 Shaun Simpson KTM 45
3 Nicolas Aubin Yamaha 38
4 Davide Guarneri Yamaha 33
5 Paulin Gautier Kawasaki 32
6 Zach Osborne Yamaha 32
7 Marvin Musquin Honda 22
8 Xavier Boog Suzuki 21
9 Joel Roelants KTM 19
10 Loïc Larrieu Yamaha 18
18 Steven Frossard Kawasaki 10
25 Loic Rombaut Kawasaki

Race 1
1 Shaun Simpson KTM
2 Rui Goncalves KTM
3 Davide Guarneri Yamaha
4 Zach Osborne Yamaha
5 Nicolas Aubin Yamaha
6 Xavier Boog Suzuki
7 Paulin Gautier Kawasaki
8 Marvin Musquin Honda
9 Matiss Karro Suzuki
10 Arnaud Tonus KTM
DNF Steven Frossard Kawasaki
DNF Loic Rombaut Kawasaki

Race 2
1 Rui Goncalves KTM
2 Nicolas Aubin Yamaha
3 Shaun Simpson KTM
4 Paulin Gautier Kawasaki
5 Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM
6 Joel Roelants KTM
7 Zach Osborne Yamaha
8 Davide Guarneri Yamaha
9 Loïc Larrieu Yamaha
10 Marcus Schiffer KTM
11 Steven Frossard Kawasaki
24 Loic Rombaut Kawasaki

Standings
1 Paulin Gautier Kawasaki 140
2 Marvin Musquin Honda 125
3 Davide Guarneri Yamaha 111
4 Zach Osborne Yamaha 100
5 Shaun Simpson KTM 97
6 Xavier Boog Suzuki 94
7 Nicolas Aubin Yamaha 85
8 Rui Goncalves KTM 78
9 Steven Frossard Kawasaki 63
10 Marcus Schiffer KTM 55

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