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Romain Febvre at the 2018 Grand Prix of Indonesia

Febvre back in the spoils after Indo MXGP

Jul 022018

Mercifully the rain stayed away. The extreme conditions that blighted Pangkal Pinang’s inauguration as an MXGP venue in 2017 hovered dangerously close this week to again curse the series’ first visit to Asia this year but – aside from a soft and very rough and demanding terrain – an impressive and busy latest episode of MXGP went ahead without a dowsing. Or at least without worries of the sticky bog-like-mud trapping reams of motorcycles as in ’17.

Cutting a splendid sight in his white dedicatory gear for the Grand Prix of Indonesia, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Romain Febvre made the podium for the second time in 2018 and the second time in the last four rounds after surviving the heat and humidity.

The Frenchman rode to third position with a 5-3 scorecard and a particularly strong performance in a second moto that saw the Jeffrey Herlings-Tony Cairoli MXGP title dispute take another fascinating turn; Herlings winning on his immediate return from collarbone surgery and Cairoli dropping the ball and also sustaining a left thumb injury. Febvre was best of the rest.

“It's an important step for me because I haven't been able to train properly,” said #461 who is recovering from his own physical problems and a sore left ankle. “I actually stayed in Italy after Ottobiano to train in the hot weather for this race. It was good and I feel like I am getting better and better every weekend and it's nice to stand on the podium for the second time."


Febvre beat away competition for the trophy from Tim Gajser and also Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle who rued a second moto tumble and wasn't able to make his fifth rostrum walk of the year (the third highest total from the current MXGP field).

Also close to top three spoils – but in MX2 - was Kemea Yamaha’s Ben Watson. The Brit has (frustratingly) turned into a fourth-position regular in what has been an impressive breakthrough term. At least #919 could find comfort in his second moto runner-up ranking: the best of his career to-date.


“A little bit of a mixed weekend; I have to be happy because I achieved my best ever world championship race finish,” Watson said. “I felt I was too patient in the first race, and then I decided to put on a bit of a spurt and I got panicked and crashed. I managed to come back to sixth, which I was happy with but I used too much energy. It was a really tough race, but I was happy with my riding. That is basically the story of my season. The second race was better, I felt I just rode my own race and managed to finish second place, which gave me fourth overall. I am quite pleased with that.”


MXGP will continue to sweat this week. The paddock will move east and to a new circuit at Semarang for the second appointment in Asia and round thirteen of twenty next Saturday/Sunday.