With motocross often comes the need to fight through injury and pain, and Gautier Paulin demonstrated today that he could do that in spades.
Carrying the right knee injury sustained just last weekend in the Czech Republic, coupled with the fact that this weekend Lommel was even more rutted and ragged than usual, Paulin was unsure how his knee would hold up.
After yesterday’s qualifying race, the Frenchman conceded that he felt more tired than if he’d done two motos, yet he regrouped today to come out fighting, setting the fastest time in warm-up by a crushing margin of 3.6seconds on the CRF450RW.
A strong ride in race one saw him take second behind Shaun Simpson, and then in race two they found their positions reversed. With Paulin taking the early lead, and setting the fastest lap, the pair were fighting for the Grand Prix victory. As the 30-minute moto went on, in temperatures of nearly 30 degree Celsius, the physical toll of this track started to show and Paulin slipped back to third.
Gritting his teeth and pushing through that pain barrier, he set about chasing down Romain Febvre, and even started closing on leader Simpson, to seal second and his fifth podium of the season.
Evgeny Bobryshev meanwhile also had a stellar weekend, recording two fourth place finishes to take fourth overall. Importantly, with his haul of points Bobby now moves into third position in the World Championship, with four races remaining.
As the temperature soared, the deep sand was even more treacherous and demanding than usual. Incredibly rutted, deep and bumpy, staying on the bike was a stern enough test, and physical and mechanical endurance to push to the end were really tested.
Results Session 1
Results Session 2