Gautier Paulin isn’t satisfied with 2015 – may need surgery after MXoN…
“I like to have a good feeling and it has not been a good year,” the 25-year-old stated when asked to assess the campaign that ended with the Glen Helen round in the United States.
“I’m not satisfied. I have had to be patient because we were not at the level we wanted to be. We became better from Maggiora and continued to improve. From my side, I injured my knee at Loket and I might need surgery after the Motocross of Nations. There was a point where I was recovering but for the last few weeks that hasn’t been happening and the pain has remained. I cannot run or train like I want.”
“I finished second and it is my best overall result but I was not in the position where I could win many motos,” he added. “I need to move up another step for next year. We need to improve many points next year.”
It was clear that Paulin did not quite find his groove with the CRF450RW and within the HRC system despite the resources on-hand and the presence of experts like Jean-Michel Bayle. “I was trying to make it happen each GP but the wheels were not turning my way,” he says. “When you have to fight like that all the time then it is tricky. We have been good out of the gate but beaten on the straight and when we find a track with one line then we are always struggling. It was hard for the team and also for me.”
Paulin’s dominant 1-1 at round five in Holland seemed to be the kickstarter to his season…but MXGP barely saw the same level of performance by the Frenchman for the rest of the year. “In sand I am actually at my best level this year,” he says. “At Valkenswaard the sand was dry and it should have been the same in Latvia until the rain came and I had to alter the set-up of my bike. From there we struggled.
“In Lommel I was injured and Assen as well. It was tough to be that ‘Gautier from Valkenswaard’ again. We were always making a few changes to try and improve but a little too late compared to the people we were fighting with. We need to continue pushing.”
Then there was Febvre. The Yamaha rider usurped Paulin’s expected role of being France’s first premier class world champion of the four-stroke era. ‘GP’ insists he was just as astonished as everybody else as to Febvre’s speed and results. “Honestly I am surprised and you would not have written on paper last year that he would be 2015 world champ,” he comments. “Right now he is doing good and riding free with a good feeling on his bike. For sure I am surprised but on the other hand I never underestimate people, and in life also. There are many GP riders who can do well. He has made it look easy.”