Indonesian GP win takes Romain Febvre to second in the points chase

Romain Febvre of Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP moved second in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship standings with his first GP win of the season on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. Having already headed ever session on Saturday Febvre was looking at the perfect weekend as he also dominated Warm-up and KX450-SR power again saw the Frenchman holeshot by a clear bike-length in the first GP moto. The midday heat was claustrophobic and the Kawasaki leader was content initially to simply keep his closest chaser at arm's length before emphasizing his outstanding pace at half-distance to gradually move six seconds clear until a fateful moment on the thirteenth of seventeen laps when he momentarily lost traction on a slick downhill landing and slithered to the ground. The incident cost twelve seconds, but he rejoined the race still second and quickly regained his composure to bring it home just three seconds shy of the winner. Victory was never in doubt in race two after yet another clear holeshot as the Green leader coolly built an ever-greater lead over the rest of the field and was nine seconds clear at one stage before rolling through the final few turns to clinch an overwhelming moto win and secure his sixteenth career GP victory, his first since 2021. The fifty-seven points championship haul from the weekend has also advanced the Frenchman to second in the series with nine GPs remaining. Romain Febvre: "It was important to finally win again, both for me and for the team and we've done the job this weekend; I was fastest every session and I feel my speed was really good. We had a start-test day this week; I did ninety-eight starts and three clear holeshots this weekend show that we found some good solutions. Now it's up to me to carry on like this. The second moto was mine all-the-way but it was my own mistake in the first moto. I was under no pressure, leading by several seconds and I was opening the gap. I felt I could take my time but it's a little off-camber at that part of the track and I just went on the edge of the line; I opened the gas too early and I slid through one-hundred-and-eighty degrees. I was leading but it's never over until the end; it was my mistake. I'm just a little disappointed because it should have been a perfect 1-1 weekend; we took back a few points, and I'm now second in the series, but it could have been even more." Mitch Evans confirmed the performance of the KX450-SR by joining his teammate in the top-three off the start of race one. He periodically surrendered places through the early laps to rivals who have been racing at the sharp end all summer but still looked secure in seventh after twenty minutes before the heat started to take its toll and his lap-times, in common with most of the field, increased significantly and he was pushed back to ninth at the finish. A solid opening lap to race two found the Australian eighth and he found a consistent rhythm to take over his eventual seventh on the eleventh of seventeen laps for eighth overall on the day. The solid scoreline sees him move up to eighteenth in the series standings despite missing the opening four rounds and further significant advances are on the cards in coming weeks with just thirty-one points to twelfth. Mitch Evans: "My start was really good in moto one but I just struggled a little in the heat towards the end. I had a better feeling physically in race two and could make a couple of good passes for seventh. We keep making steps every week so that's good." Antti Pyrhönen, KRT team manager: "The victory was well-deserved for Romain; he has been so close many times this year and now he finally he got it. The track was very unpredictable and it was important to keep in on two wheels in the second moto. This was not just just a win for Romain but for the whole team; all of the crew have been working so hard for this and it was great that they could all enjoy this victory."

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