Aims & Expectations Ahead of the Asian Grand Prix
The exciting start to the Indonesian rounds of the FIM MXGP World Championship hopes to be continued this weekend as the championship shifts from the island of Pangkal Pinang, to a brand new venue in Semarang, which is a city on the mainland - for the thirteenth round of the series where Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Romain Febvre hopes to replicate the same speed and style that took him to his second podium finish of the season only four days ago. Like Febvre, also armed with a Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP YZ450FM, Jeremy Van Horebeek hopes that his stars will realign so that he can reestablish his top-five credentials.
The battle for podium honors rages on as Romain Febvre continues to chip away at his end goal, which is to finish inside the top-three at the end of the twenty-round season. Following the injuries he received to his arm and ankle at the Latvian and German rounds of the championship back in May, the Frenchman has been doing his best to remain fit and strong enough to challenge for a place on the podium at every round. It has not been easy with the level of MXGP being higher than ever, but Febvre's 'never give-up' mentality and unbreakable spirit is starting to pay forward with the twenty-six-year-old returning to the box at the MXGP of Indonesia last weekend. His deserving success saw him claw back 3-points on Clement Desalle, who is currently third in the championship classification. He is currently fourth in the standings, 17-points down on Desalle.
A brand-new venue is always a great leveler with no rider having a perfect bike set-up in place heading in. The challenge this weekend entails is bound to work in favor of Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Jeremy Seewer, as a rider who has just stepped up from MX2 and is racing his first year on a 450cc. Despite having to face the task of finding a new set-up at each and every round this season, Seewer has proven that he has huge potential and great adaptability as he is currently the best placed rookie by more than 100-points. He is also the only non-factory rider inside the top ten inside the premier class. He is currently eighth in the Championship Standings, 22-points clear of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Jeremy Van Horebeek, and will line up this weekend in hopes of putting his Wilvo Yamaha YZ450F inside the top-five.
This weekend also presents an opportunity for Van Horebeek and Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Shaun Simpson to re-establish their form in the 2018 MXGP World Championship. Both riders feel they are miles off the mark in terms of their own personal expectations, as they battle to bounce back from injury and strive to return to 100% race fitness.
In MX2, the heat is rising as Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Ben Watson and Jago Geerts continue to exceed all expectations. Both riders have been phenomenal this year, particularly in terms of consistency. Watson is comfortably inside the top-five, and is closing in on Thomas Olsen in third. He is currently fourth in the MX2 Championship Standings and needs only 18-points to lay a finger on the bronze medal. Geerts is currently seventh, while the teams newest recruit Anthony Rodriguez is already up into twenty-third, having only raced four rounds.
The practice and Qualifying Races will take place on Saturday 7th of July with each class, MXGP and MX2, racing two races on Sunday 8th. Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Jeremy Seewer will be a special guest on MXGP's LIVE Studio Show on Saturday, which can you watch on www.MXGP-TV.com at 11:15 local time (GMT+7).
4th MXGP Championship Standings, 390-points
"I was really happy to be back on the podium last weekend, and really happy for my team too, so this weekend we hope to carry that momentum through to this weekend. I don't really know what to expect at this track, like everyone, but I will go there and try to attack as much as I can, not make any mistakes and do everything I can to try and take some points on Desalle, who is third in the championship at the moment. For sure it will be a difficult one with the weather conditions expected to be really hot, but I will do what I can and we will see."
8th MXGP Championship Standings, 279-points
"No one knows what to expect going into this weekend, it's a new track that no one knows. I am normally fine with the heat, so that doesn't bother me too much and I hope to fight again for good points. Better than tenth and eighth, I want to be closer to the top-five."
Jeremy Van Horebeek
9th MXGP Championship Standings, 257-points
"I only hope that things go my way this weekend and I can be back where I belong. That's all I want. It's a new track, and that will be nice to ride, but that doesn't bother me too much. I like riding on all tracks, it's not about the track. For sure the weather will be really hot and that will be difficult, but it's the same for everyone, so we will see."
16th MXGP Championship Standings, 111-points
"I have had a rough week. I had to go to hospital after the race last weekend and it turns out I have an infection, so now I am jacked up on antibiotics and trying to recover as quickly as I can. My ribs are also quite sore, but I am sure the track will be good in Indonesia. The fans are always awesome out there. I hope that I can recover in time to ride."