News 19 Sep 2011

Yamaha's Paulin stars for France with second moto win at the MXoN

Gautier Paulin was the star ahead of a sea of French fans on Sunday at the MXoN.

Gautier Paulin was the star ahead of a sea of French fans on Sunday at the MXoN.

Frenchman Gautier Paulin proved the hometown hero for France at the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations on Sunday, winning the Open/MX2 moto in just his second appearance of the season aboard the Monster Energy Yamaha YZ450F.

One week after his sensational debut MX1 grand prix victory at the Grand Prix of Italy, Paulin’s result was pivotal for France’s second place result overall behind Team USA.

Paulin faced intense scrutiny from the public and press over the two days at the traditional season curtain-closer and also some moral support from teammate Steven Frossard who was originally selected for a strong French trio but who had to withdraw in the wake of a lung infection.

“It was an amazing feeling to win that race,” Paulin reflected. “I got the holeshot and made a mistake but kept calm and could win the moto, which was really good for me. I couldn’t make it happen again in the second moto and made many mistakes in the first laps, so I’m not happy about that.

“When I saw Christophe [Pourcel] was out I felt quite low. It was difficult to have this in my mind and if he was hurt or not because the waves was a fast and slippery place to crash. When I saw that we could still be second I began to get really motivated again and pushed to the finish.”

Team France’s chance of overall success evaporated when Christophe Pourcel had a technical problem in the final race, but Paulin still had to rally to eighth place to secure the runner-up position for his crew and army of fans.

Paulin will step up to the MX1 category fulltime in 2011 for the Kawasaki Racing Team.