The seventh round of MXGP saw some bubbles of tension brewing in both MXGP and MX2 classes.

Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings emotionally complained about line-cutting from rivals Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Dylan Ferrandis and Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer in the second moto – an incident with the latter left the undefeated MX2 championship leader hobbling with a sore ankle.

In MXGP Monster Energy Yamaha pair Romain Febvre and Jeremy Van Horebeek had a spat in the start gate before the first moto that led to contact between the pair – the Belgian clattering into the Frenchman on the first lap, causing him to crash.


The atmosphere was understandably tense in the Yamaha camp between the motos. Febvre could only finish 10th in the opening race but had fallen again after being unable to avoid Tommy Searle. The classification contributed towards the world champion losing control of the series’ standings to Tim Gajser as Febvre could only fire back to third place in the second sprint. Van Horebeek allegedly apologised for his part in the drama but then suffered his own spectacular get-off in moto two.

“The situation should have been fixed before the [first] moto,” said Febvre afterwards. “The story was that I took Jeremy’s line because mine was not so good. I decided to move and I did not know that somebody else had taken his line before. He was pi*sed off and not with me but with the situation. I can do what I want because I was second [in qualification] and when I did he started with some comments that I should be scared of him. For sure I was pi*sed off also and I was not going to stand and say nothing. The team tried to fix it after the moto but he took me out on the first lap. It was too late and it will be difficult to solve the problem.”

When asked how relations could be repaired in the few days and hours before MXGP reconvenes again at Arco di Trento the 24-year-old said: “I have to deal with that now. It will be difficult.”

2015 was a tough season for Van Horebeek after a stellar year in 2014 in which he won his first MXGP Grand Prix and finished second in the championship as Yamaha’s sole works rider in the class. Febvre then joined the team and claimed the title at his first attempt. The relationship between the riders has always seemed amicable and functional but Van Horebeek has still struggled to reach equal pegging to Febvre and only has one podium finish this season while the reigning number one has posted five rostrums including two wins. There could also be repercussions for Yamaha with rumours that Honda is chasing #461’s services for the future.

Febvre remains convinced that despite the adversity (he also exchanged words with Tim Gajser after Saturday’s qualification heat with both athletes accusing the other of aggressive riding) he is still aligned for the peak of the championship. “I have made some mistakes but I am showing that I have the speed and I know what I do physically is working well because I think I am one of the fittest guys in the paddock,” he says. “Gajser has had some crashes also and Cairoli had a slow start to the season. There is still a long way to go and for sure I need to work more on the starts.”