The Frenchman made life difficult for himself with a less effective qualification than usual and the subsequent poor choice of gate saw him buried in the pack at the start of the MX1 race.
However he battled magnificently on his KX450F based SR machine to fight through the field for an eventual fourth place and later in the day secured his second podium finish of the season with a sparkling ride to second place in the Superfinal and the overall classification. He is now third in the World Series, just 17 points from the series pace setter after two GPs.
Tommy Searle of Team CLS MX1 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit added to his learning curve in his rookie season of MX1 GP racing to finish fourth overall and advance to fifth in the championship standings. A difficult qualification race left him with a poor choice of start gate, but the English rider advanced strongly throughout the 40 minute MX1 race to finish fifth, and followed this up with an even better ride to fourth in the Superfinal despite a small crash in the middle of the race.
Jeremy Van Horebeek continues to be handicapped by a pre-season finger injury, but the Belgian battled resolutely to score points in both races.
Gautier Paulin: “Another podium for me so it’s another good weekend, even though I didn’t qualify so well on Saturday. At the start of the MX1 race I was in the pack and got mixed up with some other riders so I was seventeenth the first time past pit lane, but I was able to fight back to fourth. My start in the Superfinal was much better as I came out of turn one third behind Cairoli and Desalle. I was able to pass Clement for second and we have reached our goal with two podiums in a row.”
Tommy Searle: “ It was an improvement with a fifth and a fourth place, and that is what we are all working for. I wanted to be in the top five and that’s what I did this weekend, so I’m happy, as it’s only my second race on a 450. We are setting up the bike better for me at every race, but I still need to improve my starts. I crashed in the Superfinal when I was chasing Paulin, but it was still a good weekend for us.”
Meanwhile, in the 250cc MX2 class, Alessandro Lupino, the Italian newcomer to the CLS Kawasaki team, recorded an impressive fifth place on his KX250F .
The Italian had a bad choice of gate after a troubled qualification but showed his great reserves of determination and perseverance to fight through from an initial 20th position to finish eighth in the MX2 race;
The Team CLS MX2 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit rider had a similar ride in the Superfinal to finish fourth in class to secure fifth on the day and advance to eighth in the championship.
The Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki trio faced a tough weekend in Thailand, but each fought bravely in the tropical heat.
Alessandro Lupino: “ Saturday was tough for me, but after the qualifying race we worked with the team on the settings of the bike and today I had a better feeling with my bike and with the track. My start in the MX2 race was not very good; this is something I need to work on, but I was able to fight back from twentieth to eighth.
I pushed hard in the last ten minutes, and did the same in the Superfinal where I came back from thirteenth to fourth. It’s my best ever result, and I feel I’m improving a lot every week since I joined Kawasaki.”
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