MXGP star Gautier Paulin has yet to commit to the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing team beyond this season amid rumours last weekend that the Frenchman and winner of the opening GP of the year in Qatar could also be heading to the USA in 2015.
Paulin was quizzed on the subject at the Grand Prix of France last weekend that he attended as a spectator while recovering from surgery on his left thumb. “KRT has part of my heart because it is a team we made with Thierry [Suzzoni, Team Owner],” he commented.
“All the doors are open because my contract ends this year. To be honest with the fans and the partners [of the team] and even myself I don’t know what I will do. This year I feel like I was doing something good in Europe…if I start something then I like to finish my job. We will have some more news soon.”
According to paddock talk Paulin does not have an offer to become an HRC rider but the chance to represent Husqvarna is on the table and the possibility to stay with Kawasaki but attempt 450MX and SX in the USA could be a powerful draw.
Paulin still has to recover from his injuries sustained at round five and in a second moto crash in Holland. “The positive thing is that by being here I can see how much I love motocross and how badly I want to be on the bike. It was cool to have that feeling,” he said of his presence in St Jean D’Angely.
He then talked more about his 2014 season: “I haven’t had much luck this year, in Thailand and then in Arco [due to mechanical problems]. After that that I could not afford to lose a moto because they are so hard to win. I was trying for victory because I knew I needed to get back points. I was riding for the lead, not to be second but I had that crash and that was it. It is part of motocross and life.”
As well as his future Paulin – who is one of the few riders in the past two years to have beaten world champion Tony Cairoli – was also non-committal on his return to the factory KX450F and MXGP this year. “I don’t know how long it will take,” he commented. “All my weekends are busy as I have physio every morning. If it was only the shoulder then I would have been racing in Spain the following week [after the crash]. I had a really good operation [on the thumb] but I don’t know when I will be back because I want to be 100%. I don’t want to be here just going for the top 10, I want to ride like I know I can.”