The 18th and final round of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship, officially named the Grand Prix of Garda Trentino, was run beneath blue skies on Sunday.
The race was poignant for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP, as Jeremy Seewer continued his fight for second in the premier-class standings and Gautier Paulin ended his illustrious career.
Paulin celebrated the end of an incredible career on the third step of the podium and team-mate Seewer finished the GP fourth overall and edged-out his closest rival to clinch this year’s 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.
Paulin was phenomenal in his final Grand Prix, as he proved that he is just as fast and stylish as ever. The Frenchman moved up to fourth in the first moto, despite ending lap one in sixth, and made similar progress in moto two. Paulin started in fourth, worked his way around Jeremy Seewer at the halfway point and crossed the chequered flag in third. That gave him third overall on the day – a brilliant end to his career – and helped him progress to fifth in the final championship standings.
“To end my career with a podium is really good for the team, for myself and for my sponsors,” said Paulin. “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.”
Jeremy Seewer was again strong in qualifying on Sunday – he battled for pole position and recorded the second-quickest time in the premier division. The first moto was a strong showing as well, as he started in fifth and then pushed to third at the chequered flag.
Seewer followed that up with a fourth in moto two, which left him in the same position in the overall classification and helped him jump into second in the final championship standings. A well-deserved silver medal was the reward for his hard work and brilliant results this season.
“It was a really strange year for us with a big break in the middle of the season,” said Seewer. “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, won my first moto at 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. My goal was to win, of course, and that’s what I wanted, but now I’m looking forward to getting back to work to fight for it next season.”
Arnaud Tonus bounced back from a tricky round on Wednesday and ran as high as third in the first premier-class moto, before eventually crossing the chequered flag in fifth. An incident in the first corner restricted him in moto two, but his progress in the laps that followed was impressive. Tonus was already into 11th at the end of lap one and recorded a ninth in the end, which gave him sixth in the overall classification.
YZ450FM-mounted riders filled half of the top six at the MXGP of Garda Trentino. Tonus ended 17th in the series standings.
Arnaud Tonus: “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. It was still 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 ten. Overall, it was a positive day.”
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP squad will continue to provide frequent updates, ahead of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship, in the coming weeks.