Historic first GP victory for Benoit Paturel and KEMEA Yamaha in Switzerland.
After having missed the podium with only few point on multiple occasions in the last races, Benoit Paturel struck back this weekend with a stunning victory in Switzerland. On the rutted and technical track in Frauenfeld, the Frenchman went 2-1 to take his first GP victory of his career and gave the KEMEA team their first GP victory too.
After a quiet qualification race on Saturday, where Paturel finished in 6th, he had a decent gate pick for Sunday. Brent and Alvin had a bad start and struggled in the deep ruts of the track. They crossed the finish line in 17th and 18th.
Thousands of fans were present in Frauenfeld and just as last year they got to see fantastic racing. After a decent start Benoit slowly got to speed and was the fastest on the track. He worked his way up from 5th to second and had a great fight with home rider Jeremy Seewer for the lead in the last laps of the race. With some creative lines he managed to threaten the Swiss on several occasions but just came short at the finish line.
Alvin started just outside the top 10 and was around there for the entire race. In the end he got 13th. Brent on his side had a good start and was well within the top 10 but then some riders crashed in front of him and he dropped back. He came back from outside the top 20 to 15th.
In the second moto Benoit had a strong first lap and came by the line in third going into the second lap. After a nice fight with Thomas Covington Benoit took over the lead and managed to open a small gap on the rest of the field. Maintaining a solid pace without mistakes he never got threatened anymore and easily won the second moto taking the overall. On top of that he moves up to third in the championship standings.
Alvin finished the race in 12th coming from behind and got 11th overall. Brent was once again unlucky and had some riders crashing in front of him in the first corner. He came through in 25th after the first lap and charged forward to finish 14th, earning him 15th overall.
"I have no words for this at the moment. That feeling on the podium is indescribable! Finally it worked out and a dream comes through. I was so disappointed lately not finishing on the podium but I knew I had the speed to do so and kept working hard. Thanks to the whole team and everybody behind me for believing in me. I want to dedicate this first victory to my mom. This tastes for more, but I first want to enjoy this moment!"
"This was an emotional day for the entire team. We knew it was possible this year and Benoit already had some great races but not lucky enough to take the win. We kept telling him it was possible but recently didn’t put too much pressure on him anymore. He rode fantastic today and made it look easy, so hats off to him. It’s a reward for the work he puts in but also for the KEMEA team. In what is our 6th GP year in the paddock we manage to win a GP, so this shows the capacities and determination of every single person within the team. It feels different to winning a race yourself, but the reward after working so hard together with everybody is great, so thanks to everybody from my side too !"
"It was an ok weekend for me. My riding was much better on Sunday then on Saturday. I’m not a fan of riding in these conditions with the deep ruts, but it’s good to see I made a good progress since last year, where I scored no points. I’m looking forward going to Sweden now. As the track is quiet hardpack and fast it’s not one my favorite ones, but there’s a lot of people coming there for me and a home race is always something special !"
Images Bavo Swijgers