Poised Results in Portugal for Febvre and Van Horebeek
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing's Romain Febvre moves up to 3rd in the MXGP Championship Standings following two strong races for 4th overall at the fifth round of the MXGP World Championship in Agueda, Portugal, while Jeremy Van Horebeek wrapped up the Grand Prix in an incredible 6th overall despite going to the start-line in 32nd place.
Rainfall over the days leading into the Portuguese Grand Prix turned the usually fun and flowing circuit of Agueda, Portugal, into a rough and rutty beast of a track. The deceiving nature of the moist orange-coloured soil, mixed with long, deep ruts and tricky square-edged bumps made for two very physically and mentally demanding races today.
Strong, fit and consistent, Romain Febvre pulled two Top-5 starts onboard his YZ450FM and used his smooth riding style to chalk up a 5-4 scorecard for fourth overall.
After crashing out of the Qualifying Race yesterday, Jeremy Van Horebeek had to line up for the races today in last place. Despite the handicap, the 28-year-old's speed, skill & determination was highlighted as he stormed his way to a mind-blowing 6th place in the first race, and almost did the same in the final race of the weekend. A minor technical error cost him one position in Race 2 where he crossed the finish line in 8th place.
Another eye-opening performance was that of Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Jeremy Seewer. The 23-year-old rookie is gaining confidence in his own skill, and is continuing to learn the capability of his YZ450F with every passing lap. In both races, the Swiss rider's bolstering confidence had him banging 'bars with some of the most acclaimed MXGP riders. A small mistake dropped him from 6th back to 8th, but he regrouped and came out stronger in Race 2, where he finished 7th for 7th overall, and his best Grand Prix result inside the premier class.
Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Shaun Simpson typically revels in deep and rutty conditions, but the weakness of his shoulder combined with a skin infection on his right-arm made racing today slightly more difficult than expected. Despite the discomfort he was experiencing, the 30-year-old talent managed to get two decent starts, which included a holeshot in the final race. He posted two 11th place finishes for 11th overall.
The next round of the FIM MXGP World Championship will take place in 2-weeks, on April 30th and May 1st in Orlyonok, Russia.
4th MXGP Overall, 3rd MXGP Championship Standings
"I felt good this weekend; it's just another one of those weekends where I just missed the podium. Only 2-points again. It's starting to get frustrating. I am already looking forward to Russia."
Jeremy Van Horebeek
6th MXGP Overall, 7th MXGP Championship Standings
"It was a good day today. I had to start last today, so I had to push really hard in both races. I finished 6th in Race 1, and that's not too bad considering I am also riding with pain in my wrist and my neck from the crash in Valkenswaard. I had a small technical problem in the second race for the last 15-minutes, which is a bummer, but it's part of the sport. I can deal with that, I am still happy with the way I rode."
7th MXGP Overall, 9th MXGP Championship Standings
"Overall it was another solid weekend. There was nothing really really special, but also nothing bad either. I felt pretty good all weekend, my speed was good, I could battle with the top guys. I struggled a bit off the starts this weekend, but I was really happy how I could move forward through the field and overall I think I did okay. Every weekend I get better and better, I took the most points I have so far today so you can see I am improving. The track was quite sketchy in some places, and I am still learning the bike and not ready to push the edge yet. I want to finish the whole season, so as long as we take a step forward at each race, it's okay."
11th MXGP Overall, 12th MXGP Championship Standings
"I'm totally looking at all the positives from this weekend. It's safe to say that 7 days ago, I didn't think I would be racing here. For my shoulder to be good enough to race today was already miraculous, as well as the skin infection and open wound on my arm, I some how managed to ride through it all for my 2nd best Grand Prix finish this year. I got a holeshot, and there were moments in my riding on the track that I was happy with. I am really pleased to get the monkey off my back in terms of the two-moto thing. I haven't finished both moto's since round one in Argentina. Looking at the grand scheme of things, I couldn't ask for much better. Two scores today and a reasonable gap in the calendar to heal up and regroup for Russia."