Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s duo of Romain Febvre and Jeremy Van Horebeek will be wrapping up the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship over the next two-weeks. This weekend – September 9th & 10th – the penultimate round of the 19 round series will take place at the famed Dutch TT Circuit in Assen, The Netherlands – the same venue that saw Romain Febvre claim his maiden MXGP World Title back in 2015.
The Dutch TT Circuit is already a widely recognised track and facility with it being the longest standing venue on the MotoGP calendar – since 1949. The venue hosted it’s first round of MXGP back in 2015 after Youthstream had their track crew import more than twenty-five thousand tons of sand from a nearby army training facility to build one of the most unique circuits to date.
With the track being built on top of the road-circuit, the fans are able to watch from the permanent grandstands which offer an unparalleled viewing experience come rain or shine. One rider that is hoping it will rain is Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Shaun Simpson, who has made a name for himself as a rider that revels in wet and gnarly conditions. As a ‘sand-specialist’ it may come as no surprise to learn that Simpson won the first ever Dutch Grand Prix that took place at Assen back in 2015, and on that same day Romain Febvre was crowned the 2015 FIM Motocross World Champion.
Simpson took his first and only win of the 2016 season in Race 1 last year, and would like to experience that same sort of success on board the all-new 2018 YZ450F this weekend. Jeremy Van Horebeek was on the podium at the MXGP of Europe in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, earlier this year, and is hoping the Dutch sand will be as good to him this weekend.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing duo – Febvre and Van Horebeek – are currently sixth and seventh place in the 2017 MXGP Championship Standings, while Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus and Shaun Simpson are in twelfth and seventeenth place, respectively, due to their injury struck seasons. Tonus – who broke a rib following his race win at the Swiss Grand Prix – has been cleared to ride and will be back on his 2018 YZ450F this week, although he will not be racing the MXGP of The Netherlands.
Romain Febvre will be joining Paul Malin and Lisa Leyland on the live Studio Show at 11:15am on Saturday morning, which can be viewed live on the official MXGP Facebook page. Gates will drop for the MXGP Qualifying Race at 17:10 on Saturday 9th of September, with Race 1 set to take place at 13:15 on Sunday 10th. All times are in local time – Central European Time.
6th MXGP Championship Standings, 441-points
“I saw my physiotherapist this week and it seems like everything is okay. I just need to ride this week and see how I feel, and then I can make the decision if I race or not. As for the track, it is quite a small track. Lucky it’s sand, then it gets really bumpy and plenty of lines come up, although it is really important to have a good start there because it is quite hard to pass.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek
7th MXGP Championship Standings, 400-points
“I am looking forward to this weekend and getting back to the front. I was riding in Lommel last week, which is good for Assen because it is also deep sand. I struggled with the heat last weekend in the US, so we won’t be expecting that sort of heat this weekend, which is much better for me, although they are saying it will rain. It rained in Assen last year, so the track will be pretty gnarly, but it’s the same for everyone, we just need to go out there and race, and see what happens after that.”
17th MXGP Championship Standings, 149-points
“From a mental side of things, I am going into this weekend with a really positive mind-set, it is a track that I have won at before so it’s got a good vibe about it. After getting back from the US, it is a short week for us, but we are trying to make the most of it in regards to doing some testing and being as comfortable as I can be on the bike. As you know, we are developing the 2018 YZ450F, which I believe will be an amazing bike once we find the perfect settings for it. This is a work in progress and I feel like every time we ride the bike we make some progress. I’ve looked at the weather, it looks like we can expect some rain and this is something that will play into my hands so hopefully we can have a good weekend.”