Paul Malin interview - My USGP memories
Interview Tuesday 25th May 2010 By Geoff Meyer
We decided to sit down with Malin and ask him about the United States GP and also something about the very competitive MX2 class.
MXLarge: Paul, what is your memories of the USGP?
Malin: I rode the United States Grand Prix a couple of times. One in 1990 and one in 1991 and the first time I was there I was 18 years old. Geboers won the first one, from memory he threw up in his helmet just trying too hard, it was also his last GP, so he wanted to go out in style.
MXlarge: The American’s had a totally different way of riding back then didn’t they?
Malin: In 1991 I think there was two jumps coming off the finish, but the American riders started doubling those jumps, and obviously FIM had banned doubles at that time, but it wasn’t really a double, you could go through the middle and I followed Damon Bradshaw through there and he was on this big 490cc Yamaha and I was on his pace and then he attacked it and then doubled it, so then I did it and some other American’s did it. Anyway, there was a riders meeting and everyone said we shouldn’t have a double jump, it was funny, we took a vote to have it changed, but really it was too single jumps that the American’s made into a double jump.
MXlarge: How did you end up?
Malin: I was ill all weekend, got like a bug and I couldn’t keep anything down from both ends and I couldn’t drink or eat anything and I was running on empty in both races. I just wanted to get as many points as possible.
MXlarge: And the second year Bayle won didn’t he?
Malin: The second year Bayle rode and what I remember about that one he didn’t come out in the first few practice sessions, he arrived mid way through. We all went out for the first and second and he might have done like one lap then. We went out for qualification and he did a couple of fast laps, clocked the quickest time and put the bike back in the truck, and went home. It was like okay….
MXlarge: He was pretty special back then wasn’t he?
Malin: Obviously that was the year he won everything in America and he won that GP. You know they all talked about Tortelli being the next Bayle, well there isn’t a next Bayle, and Pourcel will tell you the same thing. There are similarities to Bayle and Pourcel, but he will tell you he isn’t Bayle, he is Pourcel. It was nice to be a part of that 500cc era.
MXlarge: Lastely, what about the MX2 class, why is it so competitive?
Malin: Obviously the top three are super fast, but we have 10 out of 13 from the 2009 European championship riders are racing in the MX2 class this year. That is 13 extra guys that have made the field really deep. These guys and we always use guys as benchmarks. Roczen came in last year and by GP five he was winning a Grand Prix, but his last European championship race he didn’t win, Charlier did. Charlier won 13 or 14 races in 2009 and Herlings won eight, so Charlier is also a pretty high level.