Talk at the Grand Prix of Belgium last week had MX2 Husqvarna star Romain Febvre lined up to ride a factory YZ450FM next to Jeremy Van Horebeek next year in the works Yamaha Factory Racing team.
The association has yet to be officially confirmed but there were rumours the former Supermoto racer had signed a contract on Saturday at Lommel for his first term in the premier MXGP class – he has to move out of MX2 due to reaching the age of 23.
If true then it most likely means the end of Christophe Charlier’s five year union with the manufacturer and since he won the 2009 European Championship with a YZ250F.
Charlier also has to leave MX2 and is rumoured to have had talks with Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team. Febvre’s transfer would also bring an end to the Rinaldi group’s MX2 race programme as the team would focus on a two rider YZ450F set-up.
Even though he experienced a tough home Grand Prix and eighth position overall was his worst of the 2014, Van Horebeek has had an excellent second season (first with Yamaha) in MXGP and is almost assured second place in the championship thanks to a 90 point margin over fellow Belgian Kevin Strijbos with two rounds remaining.
Van Horebeek will enter the second year of his agreement with Yamaha for 2015. “Since being with KTM and having a five year contract I have been doing one years [deals] but this time – and with this economy – it was better to go for two and get some security,” he said. “I signed two years with an option. Normally if next year goes the same then I will just carry on.”
“Second [place in the championship] is the goal definitely and this is already my best season ever but you never know because a mistake is quickly made,” he added, mindful of the heavy landing at Lommel that led to a badly cut left eye. “I would be really happy to be vice world champion and I think it is a big achievement for the team also. I hope I can do it.”