The 31st edition of the Mantova Starcross has seen Monster Energy Kawasaki racer, Gautier Paulin take the top step of the podium under sunny Italian skies with his AGV AX-8 Evo helmet.
Paulin started the two-day event with a strong Saturday qualification race leading home the Suzuki duo of Desalle and Strijbos. In the one on one knockout race Paulin made it to the final duel with Desalle but did not take any risks as the Belgian got the better start and won the 1 lap showdown.
Track conditions changed with overnight watering and become rough and demanding with ruts forming quickly, however Paulin adapted accordingly and was set for the 3 moto challenge. The first race of the day would see an exciting duel between Paulin and Desalle. The two riders pulled a sizeable gap over Strijbos in third and it was Desalle who managed to hang on for the win with Paulin breathing down his neck at the finish. Moto 2 would see Paulin take control of the race at the halfway mark as he passed Desalle and then succeeded in putting 12 seconds between the challengers to take a strong victory.
The 3rd and deciding moto was a Paulin show as he grabbed the lead on the opening lap and never looked back. Taking the checkered flag by over 26 seconds from Desalle he wrapped up the overall win with a convincing 2-1-1 score.
“I enjoy racing in Mantova” said Paulin. “Mr Pavesi and his team do a really great job and put on an awesome show. I like the racing format which really gets the crowd on their feet. I was happy with my riding this weekend and it was also a great opportunity to try some new settings on the bike which all worked well. I’m looking forward to Brazil GP in two weeks time.“