Double win for Kawasaki in France
Kawasaki riders dominated the opening round of the French MX series, winning all races in Romagné to lead both classes.
Kawasaki Racing Team teammates Xavier Boog and Gautier Paulin are close in the French domestic MX1 standings, both having one win, while Valentin Teillet leads Bud Racing team mate Dylan Ferrandis in the MX2 class.
It’s been a good training for all riders in Brittany. With some heavy showers at midday, the French track was rough and demanding: slippery during the opening races and more technical during the sunny super final.
In the MX1 class Gautier Paulin and Xavier Boog share the success, with a win and a second place for each. With two strong starts Xavier lead for most of both races, but in the MX1 heat he struggled too much to pass some back markers. Coming back strongly from a bad start, Gautier took the lead in the penultimate lap and finally won this race. The start of the super final was pretty similar with a holeshot for Xavier and a mid-pack start for Gautier, but in this race Xavier didn’t make any mistake and celebrated his first win of the season, followed by his team mate.
Having his first racing appearance for over a year, Sébastien Pourcel took pole position and took second place in the MX1 heat, showing that he has recovered successfully from his back injury. Still coping with a lack of racing rhythm, he made several mistakes on this slippery track, but regained some confidence with top ten results. He remains one of the title contenders, as neither Boog nor Paulin will enter the following rounds of the series.
Dylan Ferrandis, coming back after a four month break due to a shoulder injury, was leading most of the MX2 race but crashed twice in the last five minutes; that cost him a podium result and even a win, as he lost too much time trying to re-start his engine.
Team mate Valentin Teillet was there to collect the success, only nine days after arm surgery! In the super final, mixing the twenty fastest riders of each class, Valentin confirmed his heat win; he was second behind Boog during most of the time, finishing third overall and as the first MX2 rider. Valentin was followed by Dylan who is runner-up in the standings.
Aboard his NGS Kawasaki, European MX2 contender Maxime Desprey had his second appearance on a Pro Circuit Kawasaki; coming back from twenty first to seventh in the MX2 heat, Max had a strong ride in the super final to finish third among the MX2 riders, just behind Teillet and Ferrandis. Running in the Dutch series this year, Joel Roelants made his first appearance on a sandy track aboard the Pro Circuit Kawasaki.
In Oss, the Belgian finished on the podium twice. Third in each race behind Herlings and Van Horebeek, Joel has been testing the bike under race conditions and is preparing himself for the opening GP of the season. Now he has three more rounds to come before the opening round of the World Championship in Valkenswaard.
Xavier Boog: “I was not so happy after the MX1 race, as I lost too much time behind the back markers and I didn’t win after leading most of the period. The super final was better, I got the holeshot and pushed hard to make a gap; I really wanted to win this race, as I never lost on this track!
My bike was perfect at each start, and then I had fun on this demanding track. I will not defend my French title in the following rounds, with the team we’ve decided to race some Dutch races to prepare for the first GP of the season.”
Gautier Paulin: ”It was the first time this season that we rode on a muddy track. It was interesting, because you always learn something and that’s what we’re looking for in the pre-season events. The first race was good for me, better than the second one; in both races I struggled at the start, especially in the super final as the twenty MX2 riders enter on the grid before the first MX1 rider.
The track was nice but narrow and rough, there were many technical sections where it was easy to make a mistake. I had a good feeling with the bike, and came back from mid pack to win the first race; the super final was not as good, but it was a good training and a good test for the suspension.”
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