Race Report: Bud Racing's David Vuillemin 7th in Spain
FIM World Championship - R6 Catalunya GP
Sixth round of the World Championship, the Catalunian GP had a different issue for Gautier Paulin and David Vuillemin as Gautier got its worst result of the campaign while David scored his best GP result so far with a seventh place. With only two finishes of 16th position Gautier lost the leading red plate of the MX2 class, while David is currently ninth in the MX1 standings.
After a muddy 2008 edition, the Spanish GP took place under perfect weather conditions, with sunshine and hot temperatures on Sunday. Unfortunately the organizer didn't do his job properly with the preparation and maintenance of the track; the watering was inconsistent and the surface was either too dry or too slippery depending on the sections, offering mainly one single line. The main victim of this track preparation was Gautier Paulin, who crashed during the qualifying race and lost most of his chances for the race day; seventh after the opening lap Gautier slid on a wet corner and later made a pit stop to take new goggles. He then made several laps behind the race leaders to study the lines and finally retired far afield, collecting the thirty seventh position for Sunday.
The starting area was another mix of dry and wet sections on Sunday and from his outside gate the World Championship leader had the worst possible start as he hit soft ground on his line. Last on the first jump of the track, Gautier passed thirteen riders during the opening circulation but then crashed and had to come back from twenty seventh to sixteenth, only two ranks behind Marvin Musquin, the runner up in the standings. He had a better jump from the gate in Moto2, but this time was involved in a pile-up! Starting his race thirty seconds after his rivals, Gautier made another great come back to sixteenth, and finally scored ten points in Spain. It was not enough to secure a sixth consecutive red plate, as he is now second in the standings only three points from Musquin.
In the MX1 qualifying heat David missed a good start and had some trouble to find places to pass his rivals on the track. With only one narrow dry line on most of the layout it was difficult to rise through the order, and David finished the race where he started, in fifteenth position.Twelfth during the first lap on Sunday David could this time move higher up the standing and at mid race distance he was in sixth position, battling with Coppins, Swanepoel and Nagl. During the last ten minutes David passed Swanepoel to collect a strong fifth position, his best result of the term so far. His second race was not as positive with another start in the pack, and again some troubles to find the right lines during the first laps; finally David moved to ninth position ahead of Aranda, and scored his best overall result of the season with a seventh place in the GP.
Gautier Paulin: 'It was a difficult weekend. I had an average start in the opening race, passed a couple of guys in the first lap but crashed on the second and again lost many positions. I came back to sixteenth, just enough to score several points. My second start was much better and I was in the top twenty when I a bike landed on top of mine! I lost quite a bit of time as I didn't want any marshal to touch my bike, and came back from last to sixteenth once more. We lost the red plate today but the championship will be long, the most important thing for me is the way I raced today and my determination is the same whether my front plate is red or black. Now I need to secure some good qualifying results because it's so important for Sunday's races, and if I missed it this weekend it's my fault and only mine as I crashed.'
David Vuillemin: 'Last time I came here was in 98, and Bellpuig has not changed with a dry line among the mud, even if we have a sunny weekend! I didn't had good qualifications, I had several neutrals during the race and finished only fifteenth. I had my best start so far in the first heat, then took a good rhythm and came fifth right behind Coppins during the last circulations. The next start was worst; I passed Swanepoel and finished close to Desalle and Coppins. I scored my best GP result, that's good for the mental and I'm sure that I can reach a top five position with decent starts as I was strong physically again here.'
Stephane Dasse: 'Both riders rode strong today, but after his bad qualification on Saturday it was difficult for Gautier to grab a good result. He was on the soft side of the grid and missed a good start in the first race, in the second he was involved in a first corner pile-up. Then it was difficult to score good points, we lost the red plates but we are happy with his riding. David also had a good rhythm here in Bellpuig, he posted fast lap times and did two strong races with a top five result in the first race'.
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