Lierop (Netherlands) September 8, 2013
The Grand Prix of Benelux closed off the 2013 season, which saw Antonio Cairoli win the world championship for the 7th time and Gautier Paulin rank in 5th place in the final standings.
The Frenchman's season was heavily influenced by the accident in the German Grand Prix, which forced him to skip two time trials, depriving him of the hope of continuing to compete with the Italian rider for the top of the ranks.
The AGV helmet protected the fall of the Kawasaki rider, limiting overall damage, but the four trial runs he had to forfeit on his way to recovery were a burden that weighed down on the final result.
In the last racing venue on the terrible sand of Lierop, well aware of his imperfect physical condition, Gautier tried to limit the loss, seeing his goal following defection at Lausitzring had stepped down to the Motorcross of the Nations.
"The track today was very challenging, especially in the first leg early this morning, due to incessant rain" Paulin explained. "I basically decided to race with the goal of having a good practice run in view of the upcoming team race scheduled next September 29. It would have been pointless to step up my pace seeing my current conditions, which explains my 7th and 9th place today. I want to get back to perfect shape so I can race at peak performance again, since I will be representing my country along with Christophe Charlier and Jordi Tixier at Teutschenthal, and we are aiming for a place on the podium".
At the end of the race, I felt like expressing my thanks to AGV. “It's my second year in a row that I have been running with an AX-8 Evo, and I must say I have been able to appreciate both the comfort and protection, as the fall in Germany could have had a worse outcome if my helmet had not absorbed the impact with the ground so well".
The 17th and last race, instead, was not satisfactory for other AGV riders David Philippaerts and Tanel Leok. The Italian rider finished in 13th place due to repeated falls and closed the season amidst ups and downs in a final 11th place, while the Estonian rider had to deal with annoying mechanical problems to his TM in the first leg, which forced him to quit the race, while in the second leg he finished in 9th, with a final 14th overall ranking.