Moto Media

Meet Team France

L to R:  Gautier Paulin, Jordi Tixier and Christophe Charlier.  Image - Pascal Haudiquert

The French team for the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations might not be as strong as previous years, but this team still has a great chance of fighting for victory in Germany in a little over a weeks time.

Last week Olivier Robert, team manager of Team France, organised a week of preparation with the riders that will represent France in the 67th edition of the Motocross of Nations. The riders had the opportunity to train together and they could also have some free time to know each other better and have some fun off their bikes.

Leading the team is Gautier Paulin, who finished fifth in this year’s FIM World MX1 Championship points. Paulin suffered badly from his crash at the Grand Prix of Germany in July and probably deserved a much better position than fifth, although since that crash his results have not been the same.

Paulin is one of the best riders from the last five years in the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, scoring two moto wins, one in 2009 and one in 2011. He has also helped Team France to second place in 2009 when he showed the World what a talent he is on the bigger 450cc machine, winning the second moto of the day.

The Kawasaki factory rider went 5-9 in 2010 when Team France finished in seventh place overall. Backing up again in 2011 Paulin scored 1-8 positions and France even looked likely to fight with Team USA for the victory until Christophe Pourcel lost his rear tyre in the last moto of the day.

In his last appearance for Team France, Paulin again showed great skills in the deep sand of Lommel, Belgium in 2012. Despite the circuit making many of the leading riders look slow the Frenchman went 2-8 and helped Team France to sixth place overall.

Backing Paulin up will be two debutants tot his event. Jordi Tixier and Christophe Charlier, who finished second and fourth in the FIM World MX2 Championship; this year might just be able to get the French team onto the podium.

Tixier has looked amazing in 2013, at times even racing side by side with the best MX2 rider in the World Jeffrey Herlings. While he failed to get a GP victory this year he did finish top three in motos 12 times, and his second place in the Championship was rightly deserved.

Charlier, who was a major rival to Herlings and Ken Roczen in the junior days, has turned into one of the best riders in the World. His fourth place in the MX2 points came after some solid results mid-season, and he finished just 38 points behind third placed man Jose Butrón.

With several teams a shot at finishing on the podium in Germany, and France having three riders who all finished top five in their respective Championships it would be hard to not be surprised if they make the top three in 2013.

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