Kawasaki Racing Team leader Paulin won two MX1 motos out of three in the high-profile international race at Valence in southern France, while Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki's Valentin Teillet topped the overall classification in the MX2 class.
The entire Kawasaki Racing Team has worked meticulously since the opening event of the season three weeks ago in Italy to refine even further Kawasaki's KX450F-SR flagship (based on the production KX450F MX machine) in readiness for the opening GP. Their hard work was confirmed in Valence as Paulin, who will enter his second MX1 GP campaign with the team this year, consistently set the fastest lap times during Saturday training and swept to two emphatic victories on Sunday afternoon.
He appeared to be on his way to yet another victory as he grabbed the holeshot and moved clear in the final race of the day, but a frustrating minor problem forced him to withdraw with overall victory in sight. Paulin's teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek withdrew from the
event as a precaution after suffering a finger injury during a training session.
Although he had contested a beach race in Hossegor, the home base of the Bud Racing Team, Valentin Teillet was racing his first motocross event of the year at Valence but immediately impressed with the fastest lap times in each of the MX2 practice sessions.
The lack of race practice so far this year showed in rustiness at the start, but he recovered to second and third places in the two MX2 motos before a superb ride in the Superfinal against the more powerful MX1 machines which took him from an initial 12th to fourth place, and leading MX2 bike, at the chequered flag. This clinched the overall victory in the MX2 classification. Teammate Dylan Ferrandis was not racing in Valence as he has only practicing for one week since recovering from leg surgery.
Gautier Paulin: “The bike was not running cleanly in the Superfinal so I decided to stop as this track is potentially quite dangerous and I did not want to risk an accident two weeks before the opening GP. But it was a good weekend; I had a good feeling with the bike and the track, I got some good starts including a holeshot and I feel ready for Qatar.”
Valentin Teillet: “The team has worked hard this winter, and I have a good feeling on my bike. I was the fastest of the class throughout the practice sessions, but in the MX2 races my starts were not so good and it took me some time to find a good rhythm. But all was OK in the Superfinal and that’s important as we will race together with the 450s in the first two GPs.”
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