It was a tough weekend for the Team HRC pairing of Gautier Paulin and Evgeny Bobryshev at the MXGP of Sweden, who despite some strong showings finished ninth and thirteenth overall.
It’s a disappointing result, made more so by the pair’s qualifying promise yesterday and after Bobby’s pace in race one which brought a high before heartbreak for the Russian. With a strong start he got himself into second and then settled into a rhythm, chasing race-leader Romain Febvre as the two ran away from the rest of the field. Just as a comfortable-looking Bobby seemed to be setting up a trip to the podium, halfway through a small and innocuous crash damaged the clutch lever and left him without a clutch, forcing him to retire.
In that same race, Gautier found himself in seventh from the start, but as the race progressed and he pushed his way forwards, he crossed the line in fifth. As the day’s running progressed, the track got rougher and ever-more challenging and a single line emerged, making opportunities few and far between and treacherous.
This meant that in race two, the positions in which riders started was pretty much where they finished. That was true for Bobby who got away from the line in tenth and took the chequered flag in eighth. Paulin started ninth and was running eighth before a small crash demoted him to 14th, and the Frenchman took the flag in tenth position.