MXGP of Germany Leaves Febvre & Van Horebeek Determined For More
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing's Romain Febvre broke into the top five at the classic old-school circuit of Teutschenthal, Germany - the track that hosted round eight of the FIM Motocross World Championship - while fellow YZ450FM rider Jeremy Van Horebeek rounded out the top ten after a spectacular crash robbed him of the result he was after.
The 'Talkessel' circuit has a rich history and is a track that embodies plenty of elevation and skittish clay ruts and bumps. In 2015 Romain Febvre was lightening quick around the classic circuit and wrapped up his third ever grand prix win in the premier class - MXGP - with a 1-2 finish. At moments he exhibited that same sort of excellence this weekend but a few minor mistakes looted him of the result he was after. He finished fifth overall which means he is still starving for a podium finish, although his speed today was a solid indication that he is moving in the right direction.
The French sensation topped the charts in Warm-Up this morning, which seemed to alleviate him of some of the pressure he has placed upon himself. A decent start in the opening race saw him move from ninth into sixth on the opening lap. He snuck up on Van Horebeek to join the bar-to-bar battle for third before losing two places when he went too hot into a 180 degree cambered turn and almost crashed. After that mistake, he managed to hit the 'refresh' button and came home in seventh. In the second race, the early phases were in contrast. He emerged from turn one in sixth before dropping back to tenth where he took a few laps to find lines that work for him. Once he got comfortable, he was a force to be reckoned and managed to dice his way to fifth, which was enough for fifth overall.
Meanwhile, Van Horebeek is on a confidence high and is looking as strong as ever on board his YZ450FM. The Belgian has made it clear that he wants to be celebrating each weekend with the taste of champagne and was determined to do so today. He battled for third place in the opening race, but couldn't make the necessary passes stick and had to settle for fifth. In the final race of the day, he went out hungrier than ever, but went slightly over the limit and crashed hard. Extremely frustrated, he re-joined the race outside of the top twenty and managed to pull back five places for fifteenth, which saw him round out the top ten in the overall classification.
Arnaud Tonus tends to gel with rugged rock hard terrain, and was - as expected - lightning quick on old-school track that smothers the hills of the small German town, Teutschenthal. The Swiss rider took full advantage of Febvre's error in the first race to move into seventh place before getting cross rutted while trying to pass Glenn Coldenhoff for sixth. He went down but made a quick remount and managed to regroup for an impressive ninth place finish. After being hammered by torrential rain one day prior to the German grand prix, the track was ruttier and gnarlier than ever and while the rookie was fast, he made too many mistakes and only came home in twenty-second place which dropped him back to fifteenth overall for the grand prix.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place next weekend, May 27th and 28th, on Febvre's home soil, in Ernee, France.
5th GP Overall, 8th MXGP Championship Standings
"I got a bit stuck in the first race. I was faster than my result shows but I couldn't make the pass I needed to make, so I was frustrated. In the second race I was riding pretty good but I caught my foot on a rut and hurt some ligaments in my ankle. I was in so much pain I thought my foot was broken, but I kept riding. Other than that, I feel much better on the bike and I am really happy with how things are going, I just hope my foot will be okay for next weekend."
Jeremy Van Horebeek
10th GP Overall, 5th MXGP Championship Standings
"I don't know what is going on. All weekend long I was inside the top five, but when I tried to step it up, I crashed really big and I just don't know why. I am so smooth and consistent and I really want to win, so for this to happen it's extremely frustrating."