Romain Febvre of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team maintained his top three ranking in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship despite narrowly missing the podium at Afyonkarahisar in Turkey.

The Frenchman turned more laps than any of his rivals during Qualifying to claim third choice of gate whilst studying the effect of the thinner air at one thousand metre altitude – the highest track on the schedule – on bike performance and once again he came away with two top-three starts during the GP motos. Third out of turn one in the opening race he wasted no time in advancing to second already on the opening lap but the meticulously fair Kawasaki rider then faced a frustrating race as he endeavoured to find a move into the lead despite coming desperately close on several occasions. He eventually succumbed himself to a surprise move from behind but remained in touch and was poised to regain second three laps from the finish until he stood up the front wheel in a sharp rut and paid the heavy penalty of surrendering another position to finish fourth. Again second within a couple of corners in race two he once more was denied a pass for the lead during the early laps and, not feeling physically 100%, eventually found himself pushed back to fourth in a tightly-fought leaderboard. Fourth overall on the day, he remains top three in the series standings, just seventeen points behind the pacesetter.
Romain Febvre: “This morning I had a good feeling on the track and I was happy with my third position behind the gate. The first moto I had a good start and tried several times to pass Prado but there were not so many lines to make the difference and I couldn’t really attack him. That helped Jeffrey to come back at me; when he passed me I looked at his lines but three laps from the end I made a small mistake and lost one position to finish fourth. My second start was again a good one; I was behind Prado but my feeling was not so good. I didn’t feel well and I was not at my best physically so I had to be content to secure another fourth position. It could have been better, but if we consider how I felt in the second race it could have been worse. Now I will rest to be ready for the next GP on Wednesday.”
Febvre’s KRT teammate Ivo Monticelli did not race in Turkey. The Italian has been troubled with the shoulder which he damaged in Belgium last month and suffered a further dislocation without even crashing during the morning Qualification session in Turkey. He will now seek further medical advice.
Ivo Monticelli: “I dislocated my shoulder in timed practice this morning. I just hit a bump on the straight and my shoulder came out; I didn’t even crash! Since Lommel it has come out two times for no reason so it is too dangerous to continue to race like this. Now I go back to Italy to check my shoulder and see if I need surgery; if I need an operation we will do it as soon as possible. “
The MXGP teams remain in Turkey this week to contest the ninth round of the series at the same Afyonkarahisar facility on Wednesday.

Courtesy Kawasaki