Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre is now the most successful rider so far in the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship.
The 23-year-old rookie in the premier MXGP class won both motos at Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic today for his fifth overall victory from the 13 rounds of 18 so far.
The Frenchman has claimed the most moto chequered flags (nine, and at least one for the last seven GPs in a row), led the most laps, and earned the most podiums. The YZ450FM racer celebrated his second 1-1 of the year today and extended his lead in the championship standings. To complete a great meeting for Yamaha Febvre was just one of the winners as the manufacturer also toasted spoils in MX2, WMX and EMX300.
Loket may have remodelled their layout to include a new jump and corner section and moved the start gate back to the original position but the course was still stony and slippery and tested the full range of a rider’s feel for traction and grip. The technical edge was increased by the hard-pack around what is otherwise a flowing and relatively easy racing course.
Watched by 24,000 spectators Febvre set-off from his second Pole Position of the season won through Saturday’s Qualification Heat.
He settled into second place behind Evgeny Bobryshev and bided his time until the Russian slightly dropped his pace before taking control on lap six. From there Romain built a comfortable advantage to seize his eighth moto triumph.
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In the second race Febvre had to work a bit harder and found some resistance to his designs on victory from Clement Desalle. The duo swapped positions briefly and enjoyed an intense scrap before #461 was able to make the break on lap seven. Bobryshev was also part of the leading trio.
Jeremy Van Horebeek finished fifth in the final Grand Prix listing. The #89 made a reasonable getaway in the first moto and quickly found himself in fifth position and chasing Clement Desalle. The two Belgians circulated together for the entire race with the gap between them growing and shrinking at various stages. When Gautier Paulin crashed JVH bumped up to fourth. In the second outing Van Horebeek was not able to exit the gate with the leaders and had to push hard to recover from 12th until fifth, again with Kevin Strijbos for company.
DP19 Yamaha Racing’s David Philippaerts was fighting hard for a top 10 slot in the first moto until a crash on the penultimate lap meant that the Italian needed to have six stitches inserted into a cut on his right arm. He did not take to the line for the second moto as he also knocked his head and was genuinely roughed-up by the fall.
With World Champion Tony Cairoli choosing not to enter the Grand Prix at Loket and also opting out of the next fixture to fix a fractured arm, the MXGP standings make even better reading for Febvre with an 88 point gap over Gautier Paulin. Van Horebeek’s form has also added numerical weight and he has 294 points and eighth position. Philippaerts rests with 13th.
Round 14 of MXGP follows hard after Loket with the Grand Prix of Belgium entering the daunting sand of Lommel next weekend.
“It was a really good weekend for me. I knew I had the speed to win the GP from Saturday and the goal was to make good starts,” said Romain Febvre. “In the first moto I had a sketchy moment together with Jeremy but passed Evgeny quite soon and it was an easier race than the second. We had a nice battle with Clement and he was really strong. Evgeny came back as well and I could not rest even for a little bit; I had to push all the moto. I’m really happy and I’m excited about what we are doing but there is still a long way to go.”
“I’m a bit frustrated,” said Jeremy van Horebeek. “I rode with good speed all weekend long. I had a pretty good start yesterday and today they were a bit less. I tried to pass Clement everywhere but it was impossible!
“Then in the second moto I had a disastrous start and worked my way to fifth. It was good in a way but if you start second then you can do race-winning speed easily. We used a new set-up this weekend to look for improvement in the starts and it is never easy to test like that at the GPs and we didn’t have enough time during the week. Anyway, now we know more and I hope for Lommel we can do some good results.”