Romain Febvre is now the most successful MXGP rider this season in practically every statistical form apart from Pole Positions.
The French rookie in the premier class of the FIM Motocross World Championship extended his run of victories to five from the last six Grands Prix and by conquering muddy, hard-pack tracks and even the fine sandy soil of Kegums in Latvia.
Febvre is riding his Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube YZ450FM with more confidence, panache and aggression than any other rider. When quizzed as to how and why #461 has adapted so quickly and so emphatically to the bigger bike after finishing third in MX2 last season he was briefly stumped for an answer.
“It is difficult to say,” he said. “I think my riding style with the bike just goes very well. I knew that because I was already doing well with the standard model this winter. For sure with the factory bike we can adapt everything to suit me. Even if we win some races and take some GPs we continue working and progressing with the bike and that is the main thing. We keep moving forward and it is going well.”
With an 88 point lead over Gautier Paulin Febvre only needs to get through the month of August and Grands Prix in Belgium, Italy and Holland with 12 points more than his countryman to seal the deal before the overseas finale in Mexico and USA and to become the first rookie winner of the blue ribbon category since Tony Cairoli in 2009…also on a Yamaha.
“Last year it was already good to take third place and now in my first year in MXGP I can battle for the title. I’m really excited and I don’t have so much stress with my starts or on the track so we will see,” he smiled, speaking for the first time about the overall championship picture and his prospects before offering a quick reality check, particularly with the harsh way fortune has clipped the efforts of Desalle, Villopoto, Cairoli and Nagl this year. “There are still five rounds to go,” he added. “For sure, I extended the points lead but we will see. Anything can happen either in training or the GPs. We are close to the end…but it is not finished.”