Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre completed a successful week with a brace of strong fifth-places finishes in the final Latvian round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship.
The Frenchman again missed a clear run through the tricky first turn in the opening moto as several front runners tangled ahead of him but he resolutely advanced to eleventh through the first few corners and was quickly making further advances into the top ten. Within eight minutes he had moved forward to eighth and, displaying elegant line-choice and control, made more superb passes to take over fifth place after twenty-five minutes but had to maintain that position to the close in a fast-moving train. Posting his best start of the week in moto two Romain joined all of the other fast runners at the head of the pack, converting a race-long sixth into fifth four laps from the chequered flag. A brace of fifth-placed finishes earns fifth overall on the day and see the Frenchman break into the series top-ten points-leaders despite missing the first two GPs of the season.
Romain Febvre: “It was an average day I would say, with two fifth positions for a fifth overall. The first moto was good; my start was not really what I wanted but I was able to come back through to fifth. I used a lot of energy in this race as it was difficult to pass some riders but I was happy with the result. In the second race my start was much better, but I just didn’t have enough energy to do better than fifth. I’m a little bit disappointed, but also happy with the results I got here for the three rounds in Latvia; they were my first GP races of the season and I scored well in each. I know where I was coming from and I’m happy with my speed but I need to improve my rhythm during the races; I go back home pretty happy with a podium and two fifth places.”
KRT teammate Clement Desalle rode strongly during the opening six laps of race one in a secure fifth place but the physical effects of a huge crash during morning Qualifying started to take it’s toll as the race progressed and at the finish he had to be content with eighth. Another good start in race two saw Clement hold down a secure seventh place for six laps before fighting through the pain barrier to salvage thirteenth at the chequered flag. Despite the disappointment his efforts have consolidated his seventh place in the points standings.
Clément Desalle: “I had a big crash at the end of the timed practice session, and that affected my day as I had pain to my neck and my arm. My first start was pretty good – fifth or sixth – and I kept my position for several laps before having to accept eighth; I was a little bit disappointed as a sixth was possible but after my crash this morning that was not a bad result. The second moto was no fun; the start was OK but then I had pain in my neck and I had a bad feeling in the second part of the race. It’s not easy to race with pain! It was pretty tough to do three races in a week; it was OK for the first two but the third one on the same track was not so much fun.”