A stifling hot and challenging day at the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Kegums, Latvia, sees the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team shift its focus to the next round of the series where riders Gautier Paulin, Jeremy Seewer and Arnaud Tonus hope to improve on their seventh, 13th and 14th place results.
With the ‘Zelta-Zirgs’ venue in Kegums hosting three back-to-back races, Infront Moto Racing made some minor changes to the track for the third and final round of the Latvian tripleheader today. The changes introduced a new tight and twisty section which required some of the riders to change the gearing on their 450cc motorcycles.
Paulin was one rider who made some fundamental changes to the setting of his YZ450FM, and those adjustments proved positive with the ‘21’ coming close to a holeshot in the opening race of the day.
Nursing a broken right index finger, and in what was an intense and action-packed race, Paulin finished sixth after banging-bars with the protagonists for the entire 30 minute plus 2-Lap race duration.
After celebrating the previous Grand Prix on the second step of the podium – just three days ago – Seewer’s silverware hopes were spoiled by a crash on the opening lap of Race 1 where he was run over by another rider. The ‘91’ had the wind knocked out of him and could not move for approximately 25-seconds. As soon as he could breathe, the determined Swiss rider remounted his YZ450FM and put in some more fast laps before crashing out of the race in the wave section on Lap-3.
Starts were the nemesis in the final race of the day with all three riders starting outside of the top-10. The speed and competitiveness of the premier class riders is extremely high, which makes passing incredibly difficult. Despite riding with an achy body, Seewer was able to fight his way back from 15th to finish seventh position, 10-seconds clear of Paulin in eighth.
Tonus struggled to find his rhythm all-day. The ‘4’ was claimed by the chaotic first turn in the opening race where he recovered for 17th and only managed to score 9-points for 14th place in Race 2.
At the end of a difficult day, Paulin was classified seventh overall, while Seewer and Tonus were 13th and 14th respectively.
Heading into the next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship which is expected to take place on September 6th in Turkey, Seewer sits sixth in the MXGP Championship Standings 5-points clear of teammate Paulin in eighth. Tonus is currently 13th.
7th MXGP of Kegums, 28-points
8th MXGP World Championship Standings, 129-points
“It was a hard day today. I did some work with the team to make the bike start better and I had a good start in the first moto and finished with solid sixth, but still didn’t hit my marks on the track and didn’t ride with the top three. No excuses, but my finger did not help me at all. I didn’t talk about it for the last two races, but with the big bumps I couldn’t brake properly, and I missed my lines because I could not release the brake, which was a bit scary. Obviously, I am not happy with the result, but we will recover from these three GP’s and try to find a way to make it work.”
13th MXGP of Kegums, 14-points
6th MXGP World Championship Standings, 134-points
“I am not happy with today of course. I had a good feeling in Timed Practice and I had a decent start in the first race but if you are not heaps in front there is always a lot of action and bar-banging. I crashed into the third turn because I hit the rear wheel of another rider and I got hit by somebody coming from behind. I laid there for a while with no breath, the track marshals even removed my bike and everything but then after a while I decided to do some laps to try and ride it out, but then I had a massive crash again. I hit a wall that was built, I suppose to stop cutting the track, but it’s ridiculous. So, I went over the ‘bars. In the second race, I was in a bit of pain, I could feel every single bump, but I was happy to even ride and considering the circumstances I am okay with seventh in that race.”
14th MXGP of Kegums, 13-points
13th MXGP World Championship Standings, 64-points
“I don’t feel great. It was a hard day. I crashed at turn one and couldn’t find my rhythm and finished 17th. In the second race, I just did not feel good on the track at all. I was low on energy and overall, not good. I just need to get back, regroup and come back strong in the next one.”