The Frenchman dominated proceedings from the word go as he set fastest time in both practice sessions and scored a runaway victory in the qualification race. He then repeated the feat in the opening GP moto, leading from the first lap, before wrapping up the GP victory with a secure second place in race two. His 47-point haul has lifted the 23-year-old to second in the championship after five races of the 17 round series.
It was a tremendously successful weekend for Kawasaki as two more riders aboard the flagship KX450F also raced into the top six.
Paulin's KRT teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek shrugged off the injuries which had hampered his efforts through the earlier rounds of the series to finish a solid fifth overall, whilst Tommy Searle of Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit was sixth on the day.
Van Horebeek had battled solidly through the opening moto to advance to seventh at the chequered flag and went one better in race two as he raced top six all moto. The Belgian has now moved to within nine points of the series top ten.
Searle, a strong third in the qualifying race, once again showed that he is a threat in his rookie MX1 GP season as he charged to fifth in the opening race; he seemed poised to repeat the performance in race two but a troublesome rival forced him off the track early in the race and the Englishman had to charge back from 15th place to eventually finish eighth.
Gautier Paulin: “It was a very good weekend, and it was great to race head to head with Antonio Cairoli as it had been difficult to accept him winning so many races in the earlier GPs. I had a great feeling with the track and my Kawasaki right from the first practice session, and today I got two good starts.
I got the holeshot in the first moto and won, then in the second I learnt a lot racing with Antonio. It’s great to win a GP, the first one for me this season; I have now scored four podiums including this GP win in the first five GPs and look forward to yet more victories in the races still to come. The KRT team is working well and we know where we can improve yet further; and I want to thanks all the people who are working with me.”
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