Febvre Fights For Red Plate in Argentina
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing rider Romain Febvre fought back from a bad start and early crashes on Sunday to save his leader's Red Plate at the MXGP Argentina in Villa La Angostura. Teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek rode excellent motos on a hard but slippery track to keep his Top-5 spot in the World Championship.
Kemea Yamaha Official rider Valentin Guillod started slowly in the early moto, but gained speed throughout the day to help put all three Yamaha Official riders in the Top-10 of moto two. The Swiss rider struggled in the qualifying race after a crash at the start, but gained steam over the weekend to overcome the slippery and fast track and finish the GP 11th overall.
Van Horebeek moved steadily off a solid start in the early race to pass riders methodically though the forested track, but found the dark dirt difficult to predict as tree roots uncovered with each passing lap. At the end of moto one he finished a strong 5th. In the late race the Belgian rider started slightly stronger and moved up with each lap to find himself in a duel with race one winner Max Nagl of Germany before a 4th place finish put him 5th overall in Argentina and 4th in the World Championship.
Febvre started the first moto badly, jumping the gate and then crashing in the first laps after a dramatic qualifying race that saw the 2015 World Champion come back in the final minutes and assert his Red Plate authority. Chasing through a pack of tightly grouped riders in the early race on Sunday, Febvre put pressure on Dutch rider Glenn Coldenhoff and Belgium's Clement Desalle to find himself 6th but unsatisfied.
In moto two Febvre again crashed on the loamy and fine dirt of the lakeside forest after touching the back wheel of England's Shaun Simpson and losing position. But the French rider quickly found the throttle of his YZ450F and accelerated throughout the rest of the race to pass two distinct groups of riders and then overtake Nagl with three laps remaining to finish 3rd in the moto preserve his leader's Red Plate by three points.
6th and 3rd for 4th overall. Championship position: 1st
"In the first moto I tried to anticipate the start with the gate still up, and I had to wait and go again, so in the pack I was 9th or 10th but I knew I had good speed. Then in one of the corners I went a bit too fast in a corner and went over the front of the bike. The second race I was better, but still this is a result we know we can improve on."
"We know the track in Mexico, but it's summer up there and so its much hotter than here in Argentina right now. We think the track is going to be really hard in Leon, and that's a good objective for us."
Jeremy Van Horebeek
5th and 4th for 5th overall. Championship position: 4th overall
"The team did an awesome job, and it helped me a lot in this race. The second moto was really good, but we have work to do on the start to get into the top group early and finish at the front."
"The first ten minutes of the race are always a big fight, and it costs a lot of energy to get through all of it, so in Mexico we know what we have to do."
13th and 8th for 11th overall. Championship position: 11th
"The second race was really positive for us, because I fought really hard and the work we did from Saturday on the engine to improve the bike we could see. Thanks to the mechanics we got it right and I had a good finish in Argentina."
"In Mexico next week the track is more hard-pack and less sandy, which really suits my characteristics as a rider. We'll see what happens, but I'm optimistic."