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MXGP, MXGP OF FINLAND - Hyvinkää, Finland, 29 Heinäkuu 2023

Romain Febvre second in Qualifying in Finland

Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP's Romain Febvre qualified second for tomorrow's Finnish round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at a damp Vantaa facility on the northern outskirts of Helsinki.

The Frenchman had started the day by posting second-fastest time during Free Practice but his first two runs in Timed Practice were each interrupted and, as heavy rain started to fall, he had to be satisfied with seventh choice of start-gate in Qualifying on an ever-heavier track. Despite the gate-choice KX450-SR power still saw him round turn one in second place in the twenty-minute-plus-two-lap race but overtaking was almost impossible on the saturated track. Time-and-again the Kawasaki leader set the fastest lap as he closed back in on the rider ahead, only to be filled-in at every turn; he showed great spirit to persevere to the end, only admitting defeat with the chequered flag in sight. KRT teammate Mitch Evans was stuck in the pack all race to finish twentieth after banging bars entering the first turn.
Romain Febvre: « I was only seventh on the gate but if you are in the top-ten here that’s OK for the start so I was still confident for the Qualifying race. I got a good start in second position and rode the entire race in second behind Prado who didn’t make any mistakes. I have always enjoyed riding in the rain; I was faster than Jorge, had different lines and had a good feeling but it was difficult to pass. When I came closer to him I got sand in my goggles and I had to slow down; sometimes I couldn’t even jump as I wasn't able to see that well. But second is OK; tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better so we’ll have more lines on the track."
The first race of the afternoon had seen Qualifying for the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship round; both F&H Kawasaki Racing Team riders had a difficult run through the first few turns as rain continued to fall. Kevin Horgmo and David Braceras each showed great commitment as they endeavoured to move forward; the Norwegian, lapping at podium-pace in traffic, eventually finished ninth from seventeenth the first time past the timekeepers, while his young Spanish colleague had advanced from fourteenth to eleventh in three laps before an incident put him at the back of the field and, after a pit-stop for fresh goggles, he eventually came home twenty-first.
Kevin Horgmo: "It was difficult in the beginning of the race. The rear wheel spun a little on the gate and my goggles were full of dirt already at the first turn so it was not easy to see through the next few corners. It was difficult to pass of course but not impossible and I was behind David the first few laps so I could see where he was making some good passes. I felt my riding was good and I got back to ninth, almost eighth, but I had to ride without goggles the last few laps. It was difficult with the rain but it should be fine tomorrow and the rain today will have helped to make the track even better for the GP motos. Of course we hope for good starts and good results tomorrow."