Romain Febvre returned to racing with an impressive sixth place for the Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP in Qualifying for the German round of the FIM Motocross World Championship at Teutschenthal.
The Frenchman was already looking good in training as he posted the seventh-fastest time and quickly defied the extended lack of race time with smart moves on the opening lap of the Qualifying race to quickly establish himself in sixth position. He also showed his pace by closing down the previous weekend’s GP winner for a couple of laps but, with no points at stake and his sixth-choice of gate position for each of tomorrow’s GP motos secure, he sensibly backed off slightly in the closing stages of the race to avoid the roost.
Romain Febvre: “I’m pleased with my performance today; sixth is not a bad way to return even if I’m not really looking at the results at the moment. My speed is not too bad, the result is okay, but today my feeling with the track was not that good; that’s not a surprise as I didn’t race for more than six months and came here with only two-and-a-half weeks of training on the bike.
“I’m not tense when I’m riding but the track here is really difficult so I didn’t ride quite as I would have liked. My start in the Qualifying race was okay; I had a good jump at the gate but in the first corner one rider came inside me and that cost me a few positions. But, as I say, sixth on the gate is okay as our bike is really powerful.”
KRT team-mate Ben Watson had one of his best Qualifying races of the season to finish 12th from a 14th-placed start, while F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jed Beaton survived a hectic moment at the first turn to push forward for 17th.
Ben Watson: “It’s so good to have Romain back and I’m sure his presence will help me too. We’ve been good friends and often trained together for four or five years so it will be nice to work together again at the races.”
In MX2, Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup had been on the same second as the fast lap as he earnt 10th-placed choice of gate for the Qualifying race and left the first turn in that position but the Dane was quickly on the move, advancing to eighth at the completion of the first complete lap. Smart riding as he searched for new lines rather than following the rider ahead saw him advance impressively to fifth by the chequered flag.
Mikkel Haarup: “I had a good timed practice; the lap times were really close so I knew I could make the difference in the race. My jump was good but I didn’t have the best balance out of the gate; however, I made a good decision coming into turn one and made some good passes, particularly during the second half of the race when I started picking up my pace even more. I even made a charge for fourth but couldn’t quite make it. Anyway I showed I have good speed for tomorrow.”
F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo hit the gate at the start but was already 16th within a lap and kept pushing to earn eighth-choice of start position in each of tomorrow’s GP points-scoring motos.
9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki’s Quentin Marc Prugnieres continued to impress in the FIM European EMX250 championship with a fourth-place finish in the first moto of the weekend. The French teenager started eighth but was already into the top-six on the second lap and kept pushing to narrowly miss the moto podium. His team-mate Eddie Jay Wade held seventh for several laps before a slip dropped him to thirteenth, the position in which he took the chequered flag.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: “I’m pretty happy with the result even if I made a big mistake in a rut mid-race which cost me two positions! Fourth is a decent result but it’s a little frustrating as I again just missed a podium result. However, overall it was another positive day; I just need to get better starts and be more aggressive during the first few laps to get a podium. The track is pretty technical even if there are less ruts than usual.”