MXGP’s new one-day format presented its challenges at the 12th round of the series with the event taking place at an unfamiliar track in Madrid, Spain. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer and Gautier Paulin made the most of the difficult day to finish seventh and ninth, respectively.
The task of learning a brand-new circuit on one day resembled a moving target for the riders and mechanics with no prior data to refer to in terms of what kind of bike set-up works, and what doesn’t. The team and riders only had 40 minutes on track before the lining up for the races and in that same session, the riders had to post a fast lap to qualify for gate-pick. Paulin ended up ninth on the timesheet while Seewer was classified 11th.
As always, a good start is essential to a decent result. Paulin got a good jump on his YZ450FM and made up the top-five on the opening lap of Race 1. The Frenchman was shuffled back by a few of the title protagonists. Although he did not feel entirely comfortable on the rough and rutty circuit, he managed to hold off the nine-time FIM Motocross World Champion Antonio Cairoli to finish sixth.
Seewer rallied up into eighth after starting outside of the top-10 but suffered a violent crash going into a rutted turn with 7-minutes left on the clock. Fortunately, the ‘91’ was unhurt in the incident and managed to bravely ride back to 10th.
Ahead of the second and final race, both riders made significant changes to the gearing and suspension on their YZ450FMs. Seewer chased Jorge Prado around turn-one but was bumped back to fourth by the end of the lap. Paulin emerged from the turn outside of the top-15.
Many of the world’s fastest MXGP riders struggled to navigate the chopped up Spanish clay track with many ruts margining into one ‘race line’. Seewer didn’t find his comfort zone but was happy to tough out a fifth-place finish, while Paulin recovered from a bad start to finish 10th.
Seewer remains third in the MXGP Championship Standings, while Paulin is currently seventh.
The next three rounds of the series will take place next week, on Sunday 18th, Wednesday 21st and Sunday 25th of October, in Lommel, Belgium.
7th MXGP of Spain, 27-points
3rd MXGP World Championship Standings, 396-points
“Result wise, of course this is not what I want, 10-5 is one of the worst results I’ve had this year. I feel like I still made the most out of this day with my second race. We came from some tough times and struggling but luckily the team, especially the mechanics, and myself, we were able to make some positive changes. It’s always tricky on race-day to adapt the bike but it worked out well and I could finish fifth in the second moto which is solid. Although, top-three is my goal but there are 18 GP’s and this is racing. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Now we put this one behind us and move to the next one.”
9th MXGP of Spain, 26-points
7th MXGP World Championship Standings, 311-points
“The layout of the track was really tricky, it got really hard and it was not easy to pass. The first moto I was riding tight in the first few laps, but the last 15 minutes was much better. In the second moto, a bad start took me out of the race. It was impossible to pass. I gave it my all to pass, and even on the last lap to fight for 10th position I had to block pass three times in one lap just to pass. It was really risky. There were many places with five or six ruts merging into one. Obviously, the start took me out but the riding felt pretty good, so obviously I am frustrated today.”