MXGP waded through the seas and slime of the rain-lashed Lombardia sand in northern Italy for the first Grand Prix of 2019 that counted the climate as an enemy. The tight and centrally-set park location in the small city of Mantova had been battered with stormy conditions after a dry and balmy day of practice and qualification. The deluge created a rough and slippery course that was demanding on the bikes as much as the limbs, stamina and will of the athletes.
In these turgid circumstances for racing, Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin was able to keep a steady head and even launch back from a first moto handicap when a tumbling Tim Gajser hit the ooze right in front of him to make the podium in third place. It was the French ace’s third appearance on the MXGP box this year and from the five rounds of eighteen to be played so far.