The Team HRC rider will return to the MXGP circuit having missed five rounds through injury.
By Hayden Gregory
Paulin suffered a fractured vertebrae and broken rib after a nasty practice crash earlier in the year. As a result the Frenchman missed a number of rounds with teammate Evgeny Bobryshev left to singlehandedly fly the HRC flag.
“I’m excited to be back this weekend in Italy, to get behind the gate and to see the guys and the team again,” Paulin said. “It’s been a big fight physically and mentally since the crash, and there have been times when my mind and body have been down, and then my mind’s been up but my body’s still been down. My body said stop so I had to get back off the bike again. But the important thing is that it’s a great feeling to be back again.
“I’m getting close to normal again, and I’m very happy to be able to wake on a morning and push my body close to the limit each day. Now I put all of that behind me, learn from the bits I can, and look forward to racing again. I spent the beginning of my professional career in Italy, so in that way it’s great to be back in Italy this weekend, where there’s such a great energy.”
Evgeny Borbryshev found the podium for the second time this season in Germany and will be looking to replicate his results come Italy.
“It was so great to stand on the podium again in Germany last weekend,” Bobryshev said. “My shoulder has been so tired after the last two races following the crash in Latvia, but it’s getting better race by race so I’m looking forward to this weekend and feeling stronger. It’s way better after one week, and I’m really happy with the way it’s recovering. I’m getting back to my full health again, and I like the hard pack of Arco, so I’m hopeful of another strong weekend and I think we can deliver another good result.”
HRC General Manager Roger Harvey is obviously pleased to have Paulin back on the bike.
“We’re delighted to welcome Gautier back for this race,” he said. “It’s been a while that he’s been away so he’s also really looking forward to getting behind the gate again. In instances like these, recovery is always very important and ensuring you don’t come too soon and make the injury worse, so we’ve worked closely with Gautier on this and deciding with him when he was going to come back. We’ll be back to full strength again with Bobby feeling better in his shoulder too, and after his podium last weekend giving him a further boost.”
The Team HRC riders will line-up this weekend as the FIM World Championship drops its gates for the eighth round of the season