Top ten finish for TC250R rider Benoit Paturel in France
The European MX2 Motocross Championship Grand Prix of France was hosted last weekend by the track of Ernée. Arriving on a circuit he knows well, Benoit Paturel (TC250R) had high expectations, which unfortunately were destroyed by a racing incident. Finishing ninth in the second race of the championship, Benoit leaves western France being sixth in the point standings.
Thanks to the large crowd of estimated 20 000 spectators the Grand Prix of France took place in a great atmosphere. Being part of the France Elite Championship last year the track of Ernée celebrated its comeback to the European and World Championship race calendar after four years of absence.
Setting always top 4 times in the timed training sessions, the TC250R had to chose the starting as forth rider for the qualifying race. Right after the Start Benoit kept his 4th position but then let the hammer down and quickly overtook Seewer to grab third place. Right after the TC250R rider was attacking Auberson and finally passing him after five laps. Getting only beaten by championship leader Dolphin Guillod, Benoit clinched a good place on the starting grid for Sunday's race.
On Sunday Benoit got a good start and found himself in the top ten after one lap, fighting with Seewer and Gajser for sixth position. In lap six Benoit made his move, overtook Gajser in 7th position and caught up to a group of four riders ahead of him. When Benoit tried to overtake the first rider of the group, Auberson blocked him rather violently and made him lose a lot of time. Riding completely angry Benoit lost the front of his TC250R just a few turns later, finding himself in twelfth position. After Benoit tried everything to catch his rivals again but in the end he crossed the finish line in ninth position. Thanks to his finish the 18-year-old Frenchman collected valuable points but lost ground on his direct rivals.
The championship now takes a break and will return in three weeks for the Nordic tour (Sweden, Latvia and Finland).
Benoit Paturel: "I'm really disappointed with the result because I felt good and the podium was within reach until an opponent cut me off. Saturday I had a good qualifying, I finished second in my group with some good times and I was confident for the race. I went into the top ten, and when I attacked Auberson in sixth position, he 'block past' me quite violently. I left angry and three turns later I crashed and I found myself in twelfth position. I moved up three positions in the last three laps, but I’m disappointed about that ninth place because I had the speed to finish on the podium. Now we will continue to work hard with Jacky Vimond to be well prepared for the tour through Sweden, Latvia, Finland."