Yamaha’s Romain Febvre extended his lead in the MXGP FIM World Championship by two points last weekend at the Grand Prix of Latvia where he scored his seventh podium finish in a row.
The Frenchman boosted his margin in the standings by just two points over Red Bull KTM’s Tony Cairoli with the gap now at 41: almost a full GP with just six meetings remaining on the schedule.
As a consequence Febvre will carry the red plate on the YZ450FM for the second time when the championship next reconvenes on the hard-pack of Loket in the Czech Republic on July 25-26. Now as the most successful rider this season in terms of victories, motos wins and rostrum appearances the 23-year-old insists that he still isn’t thinking of a remarkable title triumph in his maiden term in the premier class. “When I go to the race I don’t expect anything,” he admits. “I just want to ride like I know and take those [good] starts. We still have six races to go and anything can happen. At the moment I have good pace.”
The slippery and stony surface at Loket should be another happy hunting ground for Febvre but then the championship moves into three sand-based races at Lommel, Mantova and Assen which will be a crucial period for Cairoli and his fitness as the Sicilian is doing everything possible to recover from a left arm fracture.
MXGP could be set for a grandstand finale. HRC’s Gautier Paulin is just 65 points behind Febvre and he owned the event at Valkenswaard earlier this season and was strong at Lommel and won the Grand Prix of Mexico at Leon last year. The South American fixture is the penultimate date at the beginning of September.
The last rookie to win in MXGP was actually Cairoli back in 2009, his last year with Yamaha.