Gautier Paulin of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team leads the FIM MXGP Motocross Championship after victory in the opening round of the series at the Losail International Raceway in Qatar.
The 23 year old advanced from an initial fourth place to take second place in the opening moto after seven laps, but an uncharacteristic error three laps from the close allowed another rider to sneak past.
After taking the lead on the opening lap of race two, the Frenchman led every lap of the race and, with KRT teammate Steven Frossard holding a solid second place, there was never any doubt that Paulin would end the day as overall GP winner and take the red plate of the series leader to the next round in Thailand next weekend.
‰ÛÏThe goal this season is to get good results at every GP." Paulin stated after the season opening event. "The entire team has worked a lot this winter to achieve this, and to start the season with a win at the first GP is a great reward for all of us.
"We will have the red plate next weekend in Thailand, even if the most important thing will be to have it at the last GP. But it‰Ûªs already good for the team spirit that we are leading the championship.
"My second start was better than the first one; I nearly got the holeshot and then led every lap of the race without any mistakes," he added.
Paulin will be joined in Thailand by MX1 team-mate Frossard and The 18 year old American teenager Thomas Covington in the MX2 class who will contest the opening four rounds of the 2014 MXGP season as preparation for the American Motocross Championship that gets underway in May.
Top Image: Gautier Paulin will run the Red Plate this weekend in Thailand after winning in Qatar.
Credit: Kawasaki Racing