MXGP could potentially see the return of HRC’s Gautier Paulin this weekend at the Grand Prix of Trentino at Arco di Trento in Italy and round eight of the contest.
The factory Honda rider fractured a vertebra and rib in a training accident while preparing for round three of the series in March and has since been troubled by a muscle problem in his back that has prolonged his delay from racing.
“The plan was for Gautier to return here,” said HRC team General Manager Roger Harvey at Teutschenthal and the German Grand Prix last weekend. “However he pulled a muscle in his back overcompensating for the original injury. We need to take it as it comes because it’s quite painful and there is a danger of tearing the muscle, so he needs to work on it.”
“The next plan is for Arco and it is part of our original idea for a return in this ‘block’ of three consecutive events,” he continued. “Everything was going well and he was building up and riding more heavily but the muscle went into spasm and we have to be careful.”
The success of Tim Gajser for Honda has alleviated pressure on the factory team as the manufacturer hunt their first title in the premier class since 2000 and second in a row after the Slovenian – who now leads the MXGP standing – captured the MX2 crown last year.
Paulin’s two year agreement with Honda will end this season and due to the rider’s absence from the Grand Prix scene in the past two months there has not been much speculation on his future aside from a few loose links to an AMA saddle for 2017, although the Frenchman has repeatedly stated his satisfaction to remain at the peak of Grand Prix.