Febvre Takes ‘One Step Forward’ With Incredible Podium Finish in Indonesia
"Semakin di Depan" was the spirit behind Romain Febvre as he put his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP backed YZ450FM on the third step of the podium at the twelfth round of the hotly contested FIM MXGP World Championship on the island of Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia.
The MXGP of Indonesia was one of the most intense and hard-fought rounds this season. In the first race of two, Romain Febvre and his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP teammate, Jeremy Van Horebeek, got off to brilliant starts onboard their YZ450FM's and made up the top-six on the exit of turn-one before being knocked back one position in the craziness of the opening lap.
Three-laps in, and rain started to fall as the riders faced the added challenge of high temperatures and humidity. Fortunately, it would take more than a bit of fallen water to dampen Febvre's motivation as he picked up the pace and put a stunning pass on fellow Frenchman Gautier Paulin for a place inside the top five.
As MXGP's best-placed non-'Factory' rider, Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Jeremy Seewer is turning heads. The twenthy-three-year-old rookie, who is steadily improving at each and every round, had his work cut out in Race 1 after a mediocre start. Despite facing the difficulty of passing riders on a track with limited 'fast' lines, he managed to pull out all the stops, and put in nineteen flying laps for an impressive eighth place finish. Van Horebeek made a small mistake and dropped back to tenth, while Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Shaun Simpson took a hit to the ribs, without crashing, but experienced an enormous amount of pain and had to hobble home in eighteenth.
The final race of the weekend presented a thrilling and classic battle between former MXGP World Champions Romain Febvre and Tim Gajser. For old times sake, the duo fought tooth and nail for third-place in the race, and the final spot on the MXGP podium. It was no easy feat, but after 35 minutes of intense action, Febvre was able to celebrate his return to Indonesia with a massive whip and a bottle of champagne as he mounted the podium for the second time this season.
On a brutal track that caught out some of the best, including the championship leaders, Seewer added his name to that star-studded list of victims as his top-five start came undone with a big 'over the 'bars' moment on lap-two. Van Horebeek also fell foul to the testing conditions, while the battered and bruised Simpson did his best to put points on the board.
After another nineteen laps on the moist, rut-riddled and wild Pangkal Pinang circuit, Seewer's determination prevailed as he clawed back enough positions to secure a top-ten result in the race and for the Grand Prix overall. Van Horebeek salvaged fifteenth-place in the race and was twelfth overall, as Simpson finished the weekend in nineteenth across the board.
"Semakin di Depan" means 'one step forward' in the Indonesian language, which is exactly what Romain Febvre did this weekend with the three vital points gained on Clement Desalle, who is currently third-place in the MXGP Championship Standings. The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship moves back to the mainland of Indonesia, and will take place at an all-new venue in Semarang next weekend, July 7th and 8th.
3rd MXGP Overall, 4th MXGP Championship Standings
"I am happy with this weekend. It's an important step for me because I haven't been able to train properly since Germany when I hurt my ankle. When the track, is not so difficult I can feel strong for the whole race, but on tracks like the last one in Ottobiano and with the weather being so hot I felt like my condition was not there. I actually stayed in Italy after Ottobiano to train in the hot weather for this race. It was good and I feel like I am getting better and better every weekend and it's nice to stand on the podium for the second time."
10th MXGP Overall, 8th MXGP Championship Standings
"It was a tough weekend for me, I felt pretty solid all weekend but was just a little bit off. The first corners in the second race I was inside the top-five but crashed twice which was a bad end to my weekend. Otherwise, the weekend would have been pretty good. I seemed to be consistently eighth, which is not really the goal I felt I could have done more but I made some silly mistakes. There are still some things missing in my puzzle, sometimes it's the first lap, sometimes its after 20-minutes, I need to have the whole package came together like it did in Ottobiano in one of the races. When that happens, it will be good."
Jeremy Van Horebeek
12th MXGP Overall, 9th MXGP Championship Standings
"My starts were better. I was better. I am building. I felt like I was making progress and that I was feeling good, and then one big crash, and the feeling is gone. I can't find the words to explain it, it is not that I want my races to be going this way and I know that it's only myself who can fix it. I am trying. I am giving everything I can to rebuild and get back to where I belong. I just need to keep trying, and eventually it should come back together."
19th MXGP Overall, 16th MXGP Championship Standings
"I struggled this weekend. My ribs were hurting a bit and they got worse over the weekend. In the first race, I made a mistake and hurt them even more. I heard a pop, but what it was? I have no idea. These two races were two of the hardest in my life. I am disappointed with how I road. I am not making excuses, but at this level you'll never managed to get the job done while injured."