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MXGP, Garda Trentino (Pietramurata), ITALY, 8 Marraskuu 2020

Moto win and series fourth for Romain Febvre

Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre claimed another moto win and fourth in the series standings at Pietramurata in the final round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship.

The Frenchman clinched his first pole for Kawasaki during morning Qualifying and was clearly the fastest man on track in race one, the unique lines he had found soon seeing him advance from sixth at the start to second and closing down relentlessly on the newly-crowned champion for the lead. Homing in lap-after-lap with the fastest laps on-track Febvre made a stunning downhill pass on lap six and immediately opened up a slight advantage. The champion, now able to pick up on his lines, maintained the pressure as they battled at such a furious pace they were nearly thirty seconds clear of third at the chequered flag with the impeccable Kawasaki rider victorious by two seconds, the KX450 clearly faster on acceleration out of the tight turns as they carved their way through lapped riders. The second moto and the overall GP classification was effectively decided in the opening stages of the race as newly-crowned champion Tim Gajser hit the front early whilst Febvre was advancing up the leaderboard from sixth at the start. The Kawasaki rider finally hit second place with a sterling inside pass at the end of lap four but his rival for the overall GP victory was already almost four seconds clear and, although he initially edged closer, he eventually had to admit defeat after they had completed the day on equal points; the second moto decides the tie in such situtions. Second overall was his sixth podium of the year and confirmed fourth in the final standings of the world championship; he was just twenty-seven points away from a series medal despite missing the two opening rounds.
Romain Febvre: “It’s always nice to end the season on the podium and go into the winter feeling confident for next year. I had a nice battle with Tim in the first moto and could catch him for the win; I think he hoped to pick up on my lines when I passed him but I could keep him behind me and I knew it would be all on the second moto for the overall GP win. My start wasn’t bad in the second moto but also not as good as Tim’s; I could see him in front so I knew I needed to pass the other guys quickly. He had a gap of nearly four seconds when I got to second; I was pushing but I couldn’t see anywhere to make up the time and in the end I fell just before the waves with five minutes to go. I was still a safe second but the chance of victory was gone. “
Clement Desalle, seventh in Qualifying for the final GP of his fifteen-year world championship career, started tenth in race one but, riding in his usual immaculate style, was soon on the move. Ninth by the end of lap one, eighth after two laps he took over seventh on the same lap his teammate took the lead and maintained that position to the finish. Determined to bow out of the sport on a high-note in race two the Belgian quickly moved into a solid fifth position and relentlessly closed down the riders battling for third place. There was a heart-stopping moment as he touched with one of his rivals as they disputed fourth ten minutes from the end; a fall one lap later cost two positions but seventh in the moto was enough to claim fifth overall on the day and seventh in the final series standings.
Clement Desalle: “Seven was my number today for the last GP of my career! In the first race I took an average start and I finished seventh; I didn't find a good feeling with the track and I set myself a wrong pace. At the second start - the last of my career - I got a good one in the top four. It took me a while to find my rhythm but once I did I got closer to Seewer and Paulin. I launched an attack and I was a wheel ahead of Seewer when he almost hit me on a really fast downhill; we only just avoided a tragedy and that scared me! I made a mistake on the next lap to eventually finish seventh again, and I’m seventh in the final points. It was my last GP; I'm happy to finish the season healthy, to finish with three good GPs and to have had a good feeling on the bike. It makes me really happy to finish my career this way and I’m satisfied with my decision; I would like to thank all the team and all the people who worked for me. Everybody did a good job and I will always appreciate that."