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Romain Febvre at the 2016 MXGP of Qatar

Take your pick: Lights go up for MXGP this weekend

Feb 202017

2017 MXGP: have your best guess. From the seven factory teams and twenty-three riders that boast Grand Prix podium experience – another nineteen having walked the highest plinth inside that desirable winners circle – the eventual victor of the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship at Losail in Qatar is almost impossible to call.

While athletes like Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle and Gautier Paulin, Max Nagl and World Champion Tim Gajser are all previous conquerors of the jumpy and spectacular floodlit circuit adjacent to the renowned MotoGP asphalt, the first appointment in nineteen this year comes from a totally clean slate. All the hours of training, sweat, blood, strains and sprains coupled with the laps, motos and tests come down to this. Thirty-eight races from nineteen Grands Prix and a calendar that runs to the end of September means that Losail is merely the opening scene in the convoluted drama that is bound to follow but the unknown and the unseen nature of the initial blast into action is what makes the Qatar so unmissable for those motocross fans ready for their TV shot of MXGP.

“My idea is to take every race in a positive way this year,” the 27 year old said. “I know what I want and I know my character so it won’t always be possible to have a good weekend, every weekend, but I will try my best so that everything goes in the best way possible: you just need to tick as many boxes as possible at a race and find that good feeling.”

“It is a really strange circuit and of course by night,” he says. “It is not my favourite place to go because the track can be one-line but it is a new season so every track is nice! During the off-season I usually get arm-pump and nerves but this year: nothing, so it's a good sign. I’m just looking forward to it. It is a long season.”