Romain Febvre and the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team returned to the podium in the Spanish round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at the Intu-Xanadu entertainment complex near Madrid.
The Frenchman has spent recent weeks with the KRT technical staff finding optimal settings for the starts which have become so important this year in the highly-competitive MXGP class and their combined efforts paid immediate benefits in Spain. Although only having seventh choice of gate Romain gated second in each moto and, despite temporarily surrendering one position for a couple of laps when he ran wide on the exit from a turn he soon built his speed and rhythm to retake second and close down the leader by half-distance. With his rival running a similar speed and both riders avoiding mistakes the opportunity to pass for the lead never arose and he finished second. The start of the second race followed a similar pattern as Romain settled into third place after disputing second throughout the first lap; once again the three leaders sprinted clear of their chasers but after a few laps the Frenchman started to lose fractions of a second and, accepting that the two riders ahead of him were slightly faster this time, rode home a safe moto third place to also clinch the third spot on the podium and consolidate his sixth place in the championship points standings.
Romain Febvre: “It was a good GP for me with two top-three moto finishes and an overall podium; that’s important for both the team and myself. I was very happy with my starts today; we have worked hard with the team to find the solution and when you start twice in second position it makes life so much easier! In the first moto I felt good; I was not far from Prado and I thought that it would be possible to go for the win in moto two when I got another good start but in the first few corners Gajser passed me and after ten minutes I saw that he and Prado were a little faster than me. I tried new lines but that didn’t change anything; I had a very good feeling but they were simply faster than me so I had to be satisfied with third.”
Clement Desalle made it two Kawasaki’s in the top five with two solid leaderboard rides. Fifth in Qualifying the Belgian found himself squeezed at the gate in race one; initially eighth he advanced decisively to sixth already on the opening lap and maintained his charge to take over fourth position on lap four. Having already lost contact to the three leaders he soon established a comfortable advantage over his chasers for a lonely race to fourth. A better start in race two saw him soon settle into seventh, a position he maintained to the finish as the leaderboard men were all running the same speed. Fifth overall on the day Clement has advanced one position in the series points chase to eighth.
Clement Desalle: “It was another good day for me, starting with a fifth in the timed practice session. My first start was not good at all but I made many passes in the first few corners to come to eighth and I was sixth by the end of the first lap; I passed two more riders during the next three laps to finish fourth; that was positive. My second start was better but I made a mistake at the third corner and that dropped me to eighth; I was soon seventh and came close to Cairoli but it was very difficult to make the difference as there was mainly one line on this track. I’m getting better results each weekend; that’s encouraging.”