Christophe Pourcel maintained his challenge for the FIM World MX1 Motocross title with a fighting fourth place in the eleventh round at Semigorje in Russia.
The Frenchman showed resiliance on a sunny race day as he recovered from an incident during the muddy Saturday qualification when another ran into him at the start and he hurt his neck. In both motos on race day the power of his Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit got him to turn one with the leaders despite the poor choice of gate, but on each occasion he would eventually finish fourth as the top four riders outdistanced the field. Christophe maintains his third position in the standings with five GPs remaining and is just 49 points from the series pacesetter.
Gautier Paulin of the Kawasaki Racing Team had the misfortune to collide with other riders at the start of both GP motos. He fought bravely to finish seventh in each moto and has maintained his fourth place in the series standings.
Teammate Xavier Boog crashed heavily during the first GP moto but bravely gritted his teeth in race two to cross the line ninth and maintain his seventh place in the series.
Sebastien Pourcel raced in a lot of pain from the rib injury he sustained one week earlier in Latvia. He battled to twelfth place in the first moto, but was forced to quit race two after ten laps because of the pain.
Christophe Pourcel: “I had bad luck in the qualifying race when another rider hit me at the start and I crashed on my side. I had pain in my neck, and later I collided with a slower rider and lost too much time to continue. That meant that I was nineteenth on the grid but the first corner was wider than in Latvia and I managed to get two good starts. There were four of us at the front who all had the same speed and I finished fourth; it was difficult to pass and I also made a few mistakes in the second moto. It wasn’t an easy GP for me but I like the tracks for the next two races and I expect to get back on the podium.”
Gautier Paulin: “It was a long trip but the journey went well and we found a nice track waiting for us. It was tough with the rain on Saturday and my qualification was not the best of the season but the grid was wide so it wasn’t a problem. At the first start I nearly collided with Xavier and then it was difficult to make up positions; in the second moto Desalle anticipated the start and that affected my concentration. I nearly crashed with Simpson in the second corner but I came back to seventh at the finish. Two times seventh is not what I expected at the start of the weekend, but I will work hard to get back on the podium at the next few rounds.”
Xavier Boog: “Thankfully the weather was good today, but the track was affected by the rain which fell yesterday. I had a bad start in both motos, and was nearly last in the second corner. I pushed hard in the first race but crashed twice; the second crash was a big one and when I did the sighting lap of the second race I knew that it was going to be a difficult race for me as I had a lot of pain all over my body. I can’t be happy with the results, but at least I got some points in both races.”
Sébastien Pourcel:” I haven’t yet recovered from my crash last weekend in Latvia, and when I ride on the bike I have pain to my ribs. Nothing seems broken, but it’s very painful and all I could manage was a twelfth position in the first race.”