Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre put in a Spartan ride for his first podium finish of the season at the ninth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, which took place at the spectacular Matterley Basin circuit in Winchester, England. Jeremy Van Horebeek’s weekend was hampered by illness and luck with an encouraging seventh place finish in the opening race troubled by a crash in the final outing.
Balmy temperatures and a hard-packed, fast and jumpy Matterley Basin played host to the British Grand Prix where Romain Febvre’s performance was nothing short of heroic. The Frenchman could barely walk as a result of the ligament injury he sustained in the final race at the MXGP of Germany, but he dug deep and was fast enough to stand on the third step of the box following a fifth place finish in Race 1 and a hard-fought third place finish in Race 2.
Febvre has moved up into fourth place in the MXGP Championship Standings following his podium appearance, which was the first of 2018 for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team and the first since the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM MXGP World Championship in The Netherlands.
Similar to his teammate, Jeremy Van Horebeek was also lining up following a heavy fall at the MXGP of Germany. Surprisingly, the Belgian star was unconcerned about the shoulder he dislocated two-weeks ago. Instead he was worried about how his lungs and overall fitness would hold up having suffered from the flu over the last ten-days.
Riding at 80%, he did his best to conserve energy in the Qualifying Race yesterday where he locked-up eighth place, and that worked in his favor as he managed to ride a consistently fast pace in Race 1 today for seventh place. With an empty tank in terms of energy, the twenty-eight-year-old lined up for Race 2 but didn’t complete the first lap after he connected with another rider on a high-speed down hill and crashed out of the race. He was unhurt in the incident, but due to a lack of energy and an enormous loss of time, he opted to shift his focus to the next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship that will take place next weekend, June 10th, in Saint Jean d’Angely in France. He was thirteenth in the Grand Prix classification.
Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer and Shaun Simpson also faced their fair share of hardships. Seewer recovered from a crash on lap three, after another rider ran him wide, and charged back into the top-ten before a stone split his eye. He struggled for vision with no goggles and a lot of blood streaming from the wound, but managed to salvage twelfth. In that same race, Simpson was left with nowhere to go when another ride fell right in front of him. The Scot hit the fallen riders’ bike, but managed to stay up before that same rider tangled with him later in the race. Two crashes and some mistakes cost him a points paying position. He finished in twenty-first place.
Out for redemption in Race 2, Seewer had the bit between his teeth and hammered home an eighth place finish, which boosted his Grand Prix overall result to ninth, while Simpson finished on the cusp of the top-ten in eleventh. He was seventeenth overall.
3rd MXGP Overall, 4th MXGP Championship Standings
“It was a really tough weekend, but I am happy to be back on the podium. I got injured in Latvia after I connected with another rider but still, I was almost on the podium in Germany but I crashed again and hurt my foot pretty bad. Last week was not good, I saw many doctors and they suggested that I take four weeks out, but I wanted to at least try and score some points and now I am on the podium. I can’t thank everyone who supports me enough, especially the guys at Yamaha, the physiotherapist and everyone, without them I would probably not have been able to race let alone stand on the podium. “
9th MXGP Overall, 9th MXGP Championship Standings
“I had a bit of bad luck this weekend with the rocks. I split my face twice, once yesterday and once today. I felt like I had the speed to get up to sixth place, I could see all of those guys in front of me but I got hit with a big rock in the face. The skin popped open and started bleeding big time, but luckily I could finish the moto in twelfth. I fought hard in the second race, again I could see sixth place but it’s very difficult to pass out there, we are all going the same speed and it was a close battle. Overall, it was another solid weekend with a bit of bad luck but there are still positives to take away and I am looking forward to racing in France next weekend at Saint Jean, it’s one of my favourite tracks.”
17th MXGP Overall, 17th MXGP Championship Standings
“I am a bit disappointed with the first moto today, purely because I didn’t feel myself. I regrouped between motos and made a small change to the bike and managed to come out in the second race with a lot more confidence and looking a lot like my old self. To sum up the weekend, it was a day of two halves and I am just glad to be out safe and sound. Two real hard motos in the bank. I look forward to going again next weekend in France. It’s really hard to come back in the middle of the season, even though I just missed two GP’s it’s going to be tough to get back up to race pace, but I think I will be back inside the top ten in the next few weeks and I am really looking forward to that.”