It was a day of mixed emotions at the MXGP of Città di Mantova with both Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders, Jeremy Seewer and Gautier Paulin, experiencing the excitement and frustration of racing all in one day. Both riders paired one great score with a mediocre score to wrap up the 10th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship inside the top-six. Seewer went 2-8 for fifth, while Paulin went 10-2 for sixth.
In the opening race of the day, Seewer rocketed out of the gate onboard his YZ450FM and set his sights on the usual hole-shotting suspect, Jorge Prado. While keeping the Spaniard in view, the ‘91’ faced stiff competition from Romain Febvre but eventually fended off all advances to finish comfortably in second position.
A good start is incredibly important at a tight, compact and jumpy circuit such as Mantova. Without the speed or flow of a wide-open hillside circuit, it’s hard to make passes stick. After setting the third fastest lap time in the Qualifying Practice session, Paulin could not challenge a place inside the top-three after suffering from wheel-spin off the start. Despite having the pace and ability to be upfront, the Frenchman was forced to settle for 10th.
In contrast to the opening race, Paulin got off to a phenomenal start in the final outing and caught a sniff of the lead. After making some positive changes to his suspension after Race 1, the ‘21’ felt comfortable and was able to ride to his potential in Race 2.
Turning his season around with his first top-three race result in 2020, Paulin set the race’s fastest lap as he tried to catch the final race holeshotter, Febvre. Although the YZ450FM mounted Frenchman was faster in the final throws, he ran out of time to attack and eventually finished 1-second shy in second position.
Seewer started fifth but faced instant pressure from Prado. As Seewer began to launch an attack on the top-five, he got cross-rutted entering the wave-section and crashed spectacularly. His YZ450FM cartwheeled down the track and over the fence, which cost the Swiss rider valuable time.
Fortunately, the motorcycle remained in one piece and Seewer was able to race back to a decent eighth place.
Seewer remains third in the MXGP Championship Standings, 18-points off of the leader, Tim Gajser. Paulin has moved up to eighth.
Both riders will use the short time between Grands Prix to rest up and get ready for the third and final stop in Mantova, Italy, round 11 of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The event will take place on Sunday 4th October.
5th MXGP of Città di Mantova, 36-points
3rd MXGP Championship Standings, 334-points
“It was a tough day. It started well with good pace in second position, but then we are here now. I seem to be struggling in the second moto lately. I think I know where it’s coming from, but this point is hard to improve in one day. I will try to do better on Sunday. I had quite a sketchy crash in the waves, but I am not hurt, not sore, I am perfectly well and that is of course positive. My bike went over the fence and I lost quite a bit of time. But that is just racing, the limit is always close. Head up, we have another one on Sunday and still many races to come. I am just happy I didn’t DNF and that’s the main thing for now.”
6th MXGP of Città di Mantova, 34-points
8th MXGP Championship Standings, 257-points
“In the Timed Practice I had the third best lap time and this gave me a good gate pick. In moto 1, I had a totally bad start. I spun on the gate and then I had to come back from really far back to 10th. I was not really happy with the way my suspension was working, the track was a lot different so we made quite some changes for moto 2. I then had a good start and I was able to ride with the guys up front since the beginning and then stay there. I didn’t really expect to pass, I was just enjoying the moment and enjoying my riding, but at one moment I really decided to push. I think I had the best lap time of the moto. My flow was good and I ended up really close to the guys up front. It was an amazing ride. I really enjoyed it. I feel strong physically, I just missed moto 1, but step-by-step we will put everything together.”