MXGP FIM World Championship leader Romain Febvre has been using the break after the Grand Prix of Latvia where he took his seventh podium of the season on the Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube YZ450FM to get some dedicated sand testing completed with a view to rounds 14, 15 and 16 on the 2015 schedule in August.
The 23-year-old heads the injured Tony Cairoli by 41 points with a total of 300 still up for grabs but with sandy circuits at Lommel (Belgium), Mantova (Italy) and Assen (Holland) still to come before the series heads to the Americas at Leon (Mexico) and Glen Helen (USA).
“We did some suspension testing in the sand last week and it went well. The fork and shock setting was already good but we tried a few changes and they worked out,” he said. “I want to do well in the sand so we are doing our best to prepare.” Febvre knows that the slippery hard-pack of Loket at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic this weekend means he cannot focus completely on the sand just yet. Promisingly, the last time the Italian Yamaha crew went testing and found engine modifications for Febvre he won in both Germany and Sweden. “We have been mixing the tracks because we still have Loket ahead,” he added.
Febvre is no slouch in the sand. Last year in MX2 he took two third positions at Valkenswaard and two fourths at Lommel. In the sandy soil of Kegums he easily won the second moto; however, his first GP in the terrain with the 450 in 2015 delivered his worst result this season so far as he crashed in the first moto at Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of Europe and finished 10th. He recovered slightly with a fifth spot in the second race back in April.
In the meantime Febvre has also been enjoying the fruits of his status as MXGP’s most successful rider so far this term and took delivery of a new #461 personalised jet ski from Yamaha Motor France this week.