In true Semakin Di Depan spirit, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s duo, Romain Febvre and Jeremy Seewer, celebrated the Indonesian Grand Prix from the second and third steps of the podium. Their success marks a fifth consecutive double podium for Yamaha this season.
The Palembang circuit that hosted the 11th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship was unique in that it was built specifically for the Indonesian Grand Prix on a flat piece of real estate right next to Palembang’s Opi Shopping Mall. The tight and twisty lay-out of the track proved incredibly difficult to pass on with the lap-times being shorter than usual, and extremely close. In the opening race, the Yamaha Factory duo of Jeremy Seewer and Romain Febvre powered their YZ450FM machines to top-five starts.
Seewer had the early advantage and a firm grip on second position for the first half of the race until he jumped off the track and allowed Max Anstie to pass. The Swiss rider re-entered the track in third with only Glenn Coldenhoff separating him from the train of Yamaha Riders that followed.
Febvre was smooth, controlled and fast as he led the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha duo of Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin for the majority of the race. With 8 minutes on the clock the skies opened up and made the conditions incredibly tricky. The moisture on the track made traction scarce which worked in favor of the ‘461’ as he used the torque of his YZ450FM to triple-jump past Coldenhoff and move up into fourth position with 2-Laps remaining.
Other than the mistake that cost him second-position, Seewer put in a solid performance to finish third ahead of his teammate Febvre in fourth. Tonus secured a lonely sixth position with Paulin finishing 23-seconds further adrift in seventh.
The second and final race of the Grand Prix was bitter-sweet, particularly for the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team with Tonus unable to finish the race due to an extremely unusual technical issue.
When the gates dropped, Seewer, Febvre and Paulin got off to blistering starts – all three riders were inside the top-five. On Lap-2, Seewer went too hot into a rut and almost fell which handed second position to his teammate, Febvre, who then put chase to the championship leader, Tim Gajser.
Close enough to capitalize on Gajsers’ error, Febvre put his YZ450FM into the lead on Lap-4 and used his superior throttle control and clay-riding ability to take an outstanding race win, his first since the MXGP of Sweden in August 2017.
Meanwhile, the sweltering hot temperatures and high humidity in Palembang made the final stages of Race 2 a grueling affair. Seewer proved his physical condition is back to its peak as he remained strong and held on for fourth position while Paulin managed to round out the top-five.
Febvre stood on the podium for the third time this season, while Seewer mounted the box for the second time in his MXGP class career, his first was at the MXGP of Russia at the start of June.
The last time the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP had both riders on the podium was at the MXGP of Thailand in March 2016.
Seewer has strengthened his grip on third position in the MXGP Championship Standings. He has clawed back 38-points on the rider in second and is now 9-points clear of Paulin in fourth.
Paulin ended up sixth in the Grand Prix classification this weekend, while Tonus was 13th after the heart-breaking end to his second race. Tonus is now fifth in the Championship Standings, while Febvre has moved up into the top-ten.
The MXGP riders will travel to the Central Java district of Indonesia this week where they will line up for the 12th round of the series at the circuit of Semarang in five days’ time.
2nd MXGP Overall, 10th MXGP Championship Standings
“It’s been too long since I last won a race. It’s been hard and I have wondered what I am doing, but finally it’s in and I have done it, but still I am second overall, and I would like to win the Grand Prix. It’s always nice to win races, but I want to stand on the top step of the podium. It feels like it has been so close this season, but I miss it by just a little bit. I hope that it is coming, and I look forward to going to Semarang next weekend because I like the track there, it is fast and nice to ride, so I hope for good weather, good starts and then it will be good.”
3rd MXGP Overall, 3rd MXGP Championship Standings
“I’ve been really consistent this season and this is what I have wanted to do. I have shown at the last GP’s that I am a threat to the podium, just some small mistakes cost me coming into here. I have had many good races this year and I feel good on the bike. I am really happy with my consistency even though I didn’t start the season the way I wanted to. I am happy I got on the podium here in such tough conditions, I managed to post two good results with two good starts. I know that there are places that I can improve, and I will work on these, but for now I am happy that I am here and I am happy with the way things are going.”
6th MXGP Overall, 4th MXGP Championship Standings
“The weekend started well. The track was cool and really tacky, I managed to post the fastest time. In the first race I didn’t get the best start and we are all really close in speed on the track, so it was difficult to pass. At one point the guys got away and I secured seventh. The second race was challenging because I had a small issue on the sighting lap, so I started a little bit stressed out. I got a normal start, I was third around the corner and I finished fifth although I had a small issue with the front brake, but no excuse, I felt good on the bike so I am really looking forward to the next round. We will keep our head up and continue to push. I really want to thank the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team for all of their hard work and support.”
13th MXGP Overall, 5th MXGP Championship Standings
“Tough weekend overall. I feel like I took some time to get used to this track and find my rhythm. I was starting to find it, but it was a bit too late. I was sixth in the first race and then I got a good start in the second race, but even before the exit of the first turn the bike stopped, so it was unfortunate. These things are part of the sport and they happen, so we will just shift our focus to the next round.”