Gautier Paulin Ends String of Podiums with Luckless Latvian GP

The Zelta Zirgs circuit in Kegums Latvia, hosted round 10 of the FIM MX World championship this weekend. Yamaha Monster Energy’s, Gautier Paulin was looking to add to his 6 consecutive podiums in front of 21.000 spectators however the French youngster was clean out of luck on the tricky track and left Latvia more than disappointed.

Paulin set pole position in the pre-qualifying practice on Saturday and rode a solid qualification race to end 3rd putting him in a good starting position for Sunday’s race. He grabbed a good start in race 1 but went down in the second turn and was run over by a gaggle of riders. Paulin remounted and gave chase to the pack, setting the fastest lap of the race and rocketing his YZ250F to 8th position at the end of the 35min + 2 lap race.

Bruised and scathed from his first race encounter, Paulin almost went down on the first lap of race 2 when his bike swapped and he hit the bars with his chest, knocking the wind out of him. It took him several laps to gain his breathe back when he knuckled down to salvage 10th.

“I am really disappointed with this result because I showed I was one of the fastest today but I guess it was not my day. I lost a lot of time when I crashed in the first moto and got stuck under another riders bike. I set the fastest lap of the race after that but that does not help the results. I’ll take this week to recover and then I’ll be back in Belgium to train and test in the sand before Lommel.” explained Paulin.

The Belgian GP in Lommel will take place on the 30-31 July for round 11 of the 15 round series.

Steve Ramon Shows Good Speed in Latvia

Perfect weather conditions and a strong crowd of 21.000 turned out at round 10 of the FIM MX World championship in Kegums, Latvia this weekend. Rockstar Energy Suzuki racer, Steve Ramon, was determined going into Sunday’s race having put in a strong qualifying performance on Saturday.

The Belgian would run out of luck in the start of the first moto when Steven Frossard bobbled in the first turn and Ramon ran into the back of him. He had to fight through the pack to salvage 10th spot.

A better start without incidents had Ramon in 4th place hounding Bobryshev in moto 2. The tricky and rough Zelta Zirgs track needed a lot of concentration and focus from the riders with Ramon having to relinquish two positions at the end of a grueling 35 min + 2 lap race to finish 6th.

“I was pleased with my speed on Saturday during the qualification practice where I posted 2nd time and then came from 10th to 4th in the race. Somehow I just could not find my rhythm today and lost concentration and made some small mistakes. The speed was there which is positive. I’m looking forward to my home GP in two weeks. It’s time to get on the podium,” smiled Ramon.

With a week’s break afforded to the riders and teams, Ramon will prepare for round 11 of the 15 round series to be held in Lommel, Belgium on the 30-31 July.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki MX1 in Top 10 at Kegums

Rockstar Energy Suzuki MX1 in Top 10 at Kegums

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 ended an intense period of the FIM Motocross World Championship with Steve Ramon and Clement Desalle earning eight and ninth positions overall at Kegums this afternoon. The Grand Prix of Latvia, watched under sunny skies by 21,000 people, represented the 10th round of 15 in the 2011 series and also the sixth event in seven busy weeks of travelling throughout Europe.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki MX1 in Top 10 at Kegums - Photo 1 of 1

The team needed to be at its best and most resilient across a Kegums hard-pack that nevertheless carved into a plethora of ripples, holes and small bumps that constantly tested the handling of the works RM-Z450s and the physical aptitude of both Belgian riders.

Desalle fronted the MX1 Qualification Heat for almost the entire distance on Saturday and his flowing speed was a good sign that the Belgian is returning to fitness. His luck deserted him on Sunday, however, as two bright starts were undone by racing incidents: A duel with Steven Frossard for fourth position ended with the winner of three Grands Prix this season on the floor and rapidly having to reclaim his motorcycle. Another spill on the last lap, when he entered a 180 degree turn too fast and the front end dug into the loose soil on the outer line, pushed a frustrated Desalle down to eighth. In the second moto, a collision mid-air with Evgeny Bobryshev cresting the finish-line table-top yanked the 21 year old’s weak shoulder and from that point he had to accept another eighth position for nine overall.

Steve Ramon had been fast all weekend and was second quickest in both practice sessions on Saturday, scoring a decent fourth pick for the gate through the Heat sprint. Sadly the former World Champion had a lacklustre start and first race to 10th. The second moto saw an improvement in his speed and vigour and at one point the veteran was vying for third place until finally leaping across the line in sixth for eighth in the classification.

Desalle is still second in the MX1 title chase but stares at a gap of 42 points to Tony Cairoli. Ramon is eighth and needs 52 points to overhaul Rui Goncalves.

The FIM Motocross World Championship will resume in two weeks with the team’s home event at Lommel (Limburg). The sandy track will then be contrasted by a trip to the slippery hard-pack of Loket in the Czech Republic a week later.

Clement Desalle, “In the first moto I was fast and started third. Frossard passed me and I didn’t want to take any risks. I was close to passing him back but he shut the line and I had a big crash. Luckily I was not hurt. I was sixth but on the last lap I lost control of the front end in a corner and dropped back to eighth. It was really bad. In the second moto I was in the top five around the first corner and when Bobryshev passed me he touched me in the air over the table-top. I had a ‘shock’ to my shoulder because the bike was pulled out of my grip. I was a bit scared after that move and didn’t feel good on the bike. I was riding badly. I will go home now and try to get my injured finger better and think about Lommel.”

Steve Ramon, “It was a little bit of a frustrating day. I had a bad start in the first moto and it was difficult to get in the rhythm. I couldn’t push and felt like I had no energy. I was just riding around and feeling lazy. The better start in the second moto helped and because the track was getting really rough; you had to concentrate and be careful. I was doing well and not too far behind the front guys. I saw that third place was possible and tried to push but was getting tired and making mistakes. It was physically tough today; the speed was there but I still have some work to do to get in better shape.”

Evgeny Bobryshev makes it three in a row in Latvia

Evgeny Bobryshev makes it three in a row in Latvia

Evgeny Bobryshev has made it three consecutive podiums for the Honda World Motocross team, with an excellent 3rd place finish at the GP of Kegums, Latvia. Bobryshev went 3-3 across both motos to take home 3rd in the overall classification and to step onto the podium once more in front of a crowd of enthusiastic Russian fans who had made the trip over the border.

Evgeny Bobryshev makes it three in a row in Latvia - Photo 1 of 1

Bobryshev was running at the front for much of the first moto, just behind leader Cairoli but could never quite get into the position to make the pass. Frossard was closing behind and as the moto came into the latter stages, made the pass for 2nd. Bobryshev would settle for 3rd and set his sights on a similar finish in the second. Team-mate Gonçalves would also post a strong ride to 7th position.

The second moto followed a very similar format, with Cairoli, Frossard and Bobryshev once again gapping the chasing pack. Gonçalves would charge through from 10th po sition on the first lap to lead this chasing pack in 4th. Out front the positions would not change and it stayed Cairoli, Frossard and Bobryshev (the same order for the overall classification) with Gonçalves 4th in the moto and overall.

Evgeny Bobryshev, Honda World Motocross, “I am so happy to be on the podium once again but I cannot really think right now because my brain is boiled! It was really hot out there and the pace was really quick. I feel like I am comfortable on the podium now and want to be here every week.”

Rui Gonçalves, Honda World Motocross, “This was a really good result and I was very happy with the way I rode in the second moto, coming through the pack. I just relaxed and let things flow and this is when I ride at my best. I just need to sort things out a bit in the first moto but overall it has been a good day.”

Gareth Swanepoel Endures Testing Millville National

The Lucas Oil AMA Pro National MX series passed the halfway point in sweltering and testing conditions as round 7 of the 12 round series was held at the Spring Creek Motocross Park in Millville on Saturday. DNA Shredstix/Star Racing Yamaha’s, Gareth Swanepoel, made the most of a difficult qualification session as over night showers had drenched the sandy circuit and made track conditions rough and rutted.

Grabbing a good start in moto 1 ‘Swanie’ positioned himself in 6th and kept pushing to hold consistent lap times. Around the halfway mark he made some mistakes and lost his rhythm allowing Tomac, Durham and Barcia to pass. He quickly regained his composure and then put his head down re-passing Tomac and Durham to finish in a strong 5th position.

The second moto would not get off to a good start for Swanepoel.  He had to get ride of his goggles on the first lap and rode the entire moto getting blasted with sand and rocks however the gutsy South African fought through to salvage 12th spot.

“The heat was really overwhelming this weekend,” admitted Swanepoel. “This is the worst I have experienced so far in the US but I used it to my advantage and could make up positions when the guys in front of me faded. The track was really gnarly and demanding. It’s a big learning experience for me as it’s the first time I’ve seen most of these tracks and I have to bang in some fast laps and get on the pace from the get go. I would like to put together two strong consistent moto’s in Washougal and then build from there.”

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