Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Gautier Paulin celebrated the end of an incredible career on the third step of the podium at the 18th and final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Pietramurata, Italy. Teammate Jeremy Seewer finished the Grand Prix of Garda-Trentino fourth overall and edged-out his closest rival to clinch this years’ Silver Medal as the MXGP World Championship runner-up. The third of the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP trio, Arnaud Tonus, wrapped up the final Grand Prix of 2020 sixth overall.
All three riders were fast in the final Qualifying Practice of 2020. Seewer posted a 1:41.206 for second position, ahead of his teammate Tonus who posted a 1:42.570 for third. Paulin tailed the Swiss riders and finished the session in fourth with a 1:43.159.
When the gates dropped for Race 1, Tonus and Seewer rocketed out of the gate and made up the top-four on the exit of turn-one. Paulin was squeezed back to eighth but made some quick moves to take over sixth position before the end of the first lap.
Again, there was not a lot separating the top riders as they navigated the one-lined course like slot cars, except for Tim Gajser and Romain Febvre, who ran away with the top two positions.
Seewer eventually won a 20-minute long cat and mouse battle with his teammate, Tonus. The ‘91’ scrubbed past the number ‘4’ with 10 minutes left on the clock. Paulin followed suit a lap later and stole a position from the Swiss star.
Running the same pace wheel-to-wheel, Seewer crossed the line in third, while Paulin and Tonus finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
An incredible start to the final race of the 2020 season saw Seewer and Paulin briefly lead the way. Both riders were strong but they could not match the speed of Gajser and Febvre today and were left to battle for third position.
After extending his Grand Prix race win tally to 22 at the MXGP of Lommel less than two weeks ago, Gautier Paulin announced on Thursday 29th of October that he would retire from racing after this week’s triple-header at the Ciclamino circuit in Pietramurata. As a rider that is fully focused on being the absolute best rider he can be, it came as no surprise the ‘21’ found a little bit of extra speed to pass Seewer for third overall in the final race of his career.
With the Championship in mind, Seewer was aware that he had defeated his closest rival and was happy to settle for fourth, while Tonus had to fight hard to finish ninth after he was bumped off the track at the start.
Seewer managed to secure second overall in the final MXGP World Championship Classification.
Since making his Grand Prix debut back in 2007, Paulin has impressively uncorked 60 bottles of podium champagne. He has also celebrated 22 race wins and 12 Grands Prix victories during his 13-year career. The 30-year-old Frenchman ends his final year fifth overall in the Championship Classification. Tonus was 17th.
4th MXGP of Garda-Trentino, 38-points
2nd MXGP World Championship Classification, 618-points
“It was a really strange year for us with a big break in the middle of the season. I did my homework in that time and managed to put some good races together when we came back. I had some awesome races in Latvia and won my first moto in Faenza and stuff like this. I definitely feel like I made a step forward and improved. I could battle with the top guys. I am happy with second in the championship. Of course, my goal was to win, and that’s what I wanted, but now I’m looking forward to getting back to work to fight for it next season.”
3rd MXGP of Garda-Trentino, 38-points
5th MXGP World Championship Classification, 505-points
“To end my career with a podium is really good for the team, for myself, for my sponsors, but I think the best thing is to be riding at that level with those top guys. I really enjoyed today’s racing. I was riding free even though the track was really rutty and rough. We had a good set-up with my bike and I was really happy with my chassis and suspension and stuff. I really want to thank my team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and all of the people behind me. It has been a really special day, I am feeling really happy.”
6th MXGP of Garda-Trentino, 28-points
17th MXGP World Championship Classification, 184-points
“Overall today was pretty good. I had some good starts especially the first moto but I missed a bit of physical condition to hold on, but it was still was really good, and the result was not so bad too. In the second race I was on the way to the holeshot and I got hit by another rider from behind. I came back to ninth, so it was good for me to come back through the pack like this and finish inside the top-10, so overall it was a positive day.”