Romain Febvre worked hard over the winter to come into the 2019 season with his best form. However, at the first round of the MXGP World Championship he took a crash and ended up injured.
We didn’t see Febvre make a return to racing until round six in Portugal. The French rider has slowly been building and improving each GP even winning a moto in Indonesia.
The former MXGP World Champion, will want to win an overall before the end of the season and head into 2020 with good form.
We caught up with Febvre after the final round of the Dutch Masters were he finished second overall to discuss a range of topics.
Gatedrop: Romain, overall in terms of speed it was a good day for you but the small tip off cost you in the second moto. Are you happy with your speed though?
Romain Febvre: Yeah, it was a good training. The track isn’t easy, it’s really small so with the lapped riders it’s really difficult. In the second moto I had the crash on the second lap so I dropped to sixth. It was really difficult to pass the guys even if I was faster. I finished third in that moto which is okay, it was a good practice.
Gatedrop: Last year we had a different format for you guys which was over two days and you left after the first day because the track was dangerous. Was it better this year?
Romain Febvre: Yeah, the watering was much better. It wasn’t dry so we had no dust so it wasn’t dangerous. The track is a little bit too small but we knew it before we came here. It is what it is and it was better than last year so it was good to practice.
Gatedrop: Just on MXGP, you worked hard all winter and then get injured at round one in Argentina. Mentally how hard is that to take?
Romain Febvre: Not so much because I know it’s the sport. You can be really good and then be injured as quick as anything. It’s just the sport, at first I was quite happy about the injury because it (the recovery) went quite fast because I had a good surgery. The other riders already done GP’s and they could carry their speed and momentum. It was tough to comeback but I think my comeback was really strong because after the second GP I scored a podium in France. Injuries are just part of the sport.
Gatedrop: Just on your return to racing, you’re battling at the front and got podiums. I guess the next target is for the GP win?
Romain Febvre: Sure, it’s what I’m trying every weekend. I’ve been close two times but it hasn’t happened. I will try again in Loket and I think in Lommel I have a good chance of doing really good. We will see.
Gatedrop: You’ve been working with Jacky Vimond this year. In what way does he help you and what’s it like working with him?
Romain Febvre: Jacky is my trainer so he helps me physically and also with the bike training. It was a really big change for me last winter and I’ve learnt a lot from him. I think my speed has improved a lot this year, I just need to be more consistent both moto’s. Then it will be good for the overall.
Gatedrop: There’s a lot of talk about the Youthstream track prep this year with them doing a lot of track maintenance and flattening the tracks a lot more than the past and also heavy watering. What’s your thoughts on it?
Romain Febvre: I think this year isn’t too bad. Last year I think was worse. Sometimes it’s not so bumpy but sometimes they need to flatten it to make it good also. If you leave the track like this and put water, it’s what they did last year and it’s really bad because it’s really slippery. Sometimes you need to rip the track to make it flat again but with good dirt. I think this year it’s not too bad, some have been bad. Also, the last one in Semerang was really bad but if it’s only 2-3 tracks in the year then it’s okay. I think last year many of them on the Sunday at the GP’s were bad so they’ve improved this year.
Gatedrop: Dylan Ferrandis has recently announced he won’t race the MXoN at Assen, as a fellow French rider, what’s your thoughts on that? Also, is it an event you’re looking forward too? You won’t be following Dylan and pull out of the event too?
Romain Febvre: No, no, I won’t. With Dylan, it’s his choice. He doesn’t want to come over and I can understand because the SX season starts really early for them. The Motocross season ends quite early for them too so they’d need to stay focused in Motocross for the Nations. I think it’s too long for them. Even though he doesn’t come I think we have a good chance also with Vialle, he’s riding good at the moment and also in the sand he can be a good MX2 rider. We will see, with the Nations, it’s always after the (MXGP) series so I don’t put any pressure on myself for that race.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Niek Kamper