Simpson, Febvre, Tonus and Van Horebeek talk Qatar
The thirty-two lighting poles that surround the distinctive man-made motocross track at the International Circuit of Losail, in Qatar, were illuminated today for the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship where Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre showcased his ability to triumph over adversity with a promising third place finish in the final race of the night.
The uniquely demanding desert clay of Qatar was a test of the best this weekend with its tricky square-edged bumps proving a challenge for some of the world’s finest hard-pack riders. “This is not my favourite track,” Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek said following his fifth and sixth place finishes for seventh overall, “I am just happy to leave here without any injuries. I suppose it’s a pretty decent start to the season, but I know I can do way better than this.”
Febvre was equally as frustrated with the track, “It was a tough weekend, I had the speed to finish third and to fight for the podium” he commented, “in the first race I had a good start but two crashes meant I only finished tenth, and that was bad because I knew I had the speed and I knew my lap times were okay.” Fortunately, the former world champion, was able to dust off a trait that saw him take the crown in 2015, and he bounced back in the final race of the night with a promising third place finish.
Speaking of promise, Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus had a bitter-sweet debut with a solid seventh place finish in race one being undone by a disappointing nineteenth place in race two, for fourteenth overall.
Meanwhile, fellow Wilvo Yamaha rider Shaun Simpson had an even longer night which resulted in sixteenth overall and was on the search for positives, “I am ever the optimist and even on the worse weekend I can still find a positive and something to build on throughout the week,” Simpson said, “I know there is a lot to do, my speed and fitness can definitely be improved but that will come, I am not stressed about that. The main thing is that we got through this weekend, I’ve put some points on the board and through it all I actually feel okay.”
It may not have been the desired start to the season for all four riders who lined up in hopes of leaving their finger print on settling dust in Qatar, but it was a steady start nonetheless which may play a vital part in the way the cookie crumbles or has crumbled come September.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place at the all-new venue of Pangkal-Pinang in Indonesia next weekend, March 4th and 5th.