Valkenswaard, The Netherlands (08 March 2020) – The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team has already shifted their focus to the next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship after the second round of the series in the rough, wet and rutty black sand of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, proved challenging for all three riders. Gautier Paulin managed to salvage eighth overall despite riding with immense pain after colliding with teammate Jeremy Seewer in the final race of the weekend. Arnaud Tonus finished 15th overall while Seewer was unable to finish the second race and was classified 19th overall.
Excessive rain was a factor at the Dutch Grand Prix in Valkenswaard. The constant downpours caused the track to deteriorate much quicker than usual, which caused chaos for the riders as they are not used to racing in such brutal conditions. The rain also caused visibility issues whether it was rain on the goggle lens or wet sand.
After a frustrating end to his Qualifying Race yesterday, Paulin lined up aware of the challenge he was bound to face with 14th gate-pick. Determined to fight back, the Frenchman got off to a mediocre start but looked comfortable out on the treacherous and challenging track as he worked his way to an impressive top-five finish in Race 1.
Seewer was a victim of visibility issues in the opening race of the day after he got his YZ450FM off to a top-two start before crashing on the opening lap. Fortunately, the ‘91’ was not hit by another rider when he fell at the front of the field, but he still struggled for vision while trying to carve through the pack. He stopped for a fresh pair of goggles and eventually finished 14th.
Tonus finished 17th after a colliding with another rider on the opening lap of Race 1
In the second and final race of the weekend, all three riders were luckless on their mission. Seewer got off to another incredible start but tangled with another rider at high-speed and crashed. Paulin got caught in the Seewer’s carnage as Tonus stalled his engine. Seewer was unable to finish the race, while Paulin injured his ribs and struggled for breath.
Tonus fell foul to the conditions twice and finished 15th while Paulin braved the 16 lap duration of the race for 11th.
All three riders are looking forward to a weekend off where they can regroup and be ready for the third round of the MXGP Championship which is set to take place on March 21st in Villa la Angostura, Argentina.
8th MXGP of The Netherlands, 26-points
5th MXGP World Championship, 58-points
“My start was good, but I don’t know what Seewer did, but he was in front and had a big crash and then I got caught. It’s a shame we had an issue yesterday. No excuses, but to have 14th gate pick here was really tough. The crash at the of the second race I hit the bank really hard and my ribs, so I struggled to breathe the whole moto. Otherwise, my feeling was good here. I felt strong, but it was a bad weekend overall.”
15th MXGP of The Netherlands, 10-points
16th MXGP World Championship, 23-points
“This weekend was super hard. Yesterday I felt alright, my speed was good. I felt good in the warmup. I had a good start in the first race but got cleaned out by Pauls Jonass and there was nothing I could do. I had to battle back from dead last. In the second moto, I stalled the bike and that was terrible. Not sure what happened there, but I got it going and then crashed twice, so it was a horrible weekend. Now we have a weekend off which will be good for my thumb to give it some time to recover.”
19th MXGP of The Netherlands, 7-points
9th MXGP World Championships, 42-points
“Ending this weekend with a DNF is really tough. I had two super good starts. In the first race, I crashed on my own and had to start in the middle of the pack which is never good in these conditions. So, my goggles got filled with sand and then I needed to change goggles and it was a complete disaster to finish 14th. In the second race I had a technical issue with my front brake, but still got a good start but Jorge Prado crashed in front of me and I hit his bike full gas and went down.”