Third for Team HRC’s Paulin in Thailand qualifying
Gautier Paulin continued Team HRC’s podium performances today with a hard fought third place in the qualifying race for tomorrow’s MXGP of Thailand.
Getting away from the start gate in third position, he was squeezed down to tenth by the exit, from where he mounted his impressive comeback. Evgeny Bobryshev was not so fortunate, when he was taken out in the same tight first corner and forced to the back of the pack.
Both riders mounted their own comebacks, with Paulin consistently and surgically cutting his way through the field to finish third and Bobby working his way through the pack to twelfth. Unfortunately, on lap nine Bobby crashed and gave himself all the work to do again, but with less time to do it in.
By the finish, Paulin crossed the line a fine third giving himself a strong starting position for tomorrow’s races, but Bobby has a lot of work to do having finished 19th. The first of tomorrow’s two races gets underway at 1315hrs local time.
“It’s a very tight first corner here and everyone is diving for the inside, and the track is watered so it’s slippery and then grippy, so I think it’s catching some people out. There’s been a crash on the first lap of every race so we need to get around that safely tomorrow.
“Gautier got a good start but just got boxed in on the first corner so lost a lot of time and places. I’d have said he was second or third into turn one, but came out tenth. Then he managed the race very very well. It’s a difficult track to pass on because it’s so tight with many jumps, so he did a very good job and we’re pleased with the result to fight back to third.
“Bobby made a reasonable start too but just got the front wheel clipped and someone put him down so he set off again from the back. He showed good speed and made some good passes on his way back up to 12th, but then just lost the front end and slid off it which put him back again, so then it was just a case of building up what he could again. Like last weekend, he’s got a big job again tomorrow to start from the outside.”
Gautier Paulin 21
“It’s so hard to pass on this track, wow! That was a really tough one to pass those riders. The track is like it is, but I had to make it happen. The bike was working really well which is important on this kind of track with lots of jumps and rough. I had a good start but turn one, three and four are very tight and I made a mistake and hit one rider in the third corner and went off the track. I had to come back to have a good place on the gate for tomorrow, but I like this supercross style where there are many jumps. I had a good feeling and I was riding good and precisely so we’re definitely happy with today.”
Evgeny Bobryshev 777
“It was really tough, especially with my crash on the first corner. The corner is so tight and I was in the middle and someone on the inside just hit my handlebars and I lost the front. I came back to 12th and I had not such a bad pace and rhythm and was catching some of the riders ahead of me, but then I lost the front in a rut and I went down and stalled the bike. It was tough to kick start the bike in this condition, and when I got going I was on my own around 19th. Tough day, but it’s a new day tomorrow so now I prepare for tomorrow and keep my head up. For sure it’s disappointing like this at the beginning of the year, but the season is long.”