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MXGP OF SARDEGNA (ITA) - Riola Sardo, ITALY, 7 April 2024

A gritty fifth for Romain Febvre on Sardinia

Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP's Romain Febvre displayed true grit to maintain his title challenge in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship as he put his Qualifying blues behind him on race day to finish fifth at Riola Sardo on Sardinia.

A race incident in Qualifying meant the Frenchman had to start both GP motos from the disadvantageous outside gate and he faced a tough ride through the pack in both motos. His attempt to rail the outside of turn one in the first race was foiled when another rider went straight on and he had a long chase from twenty-fourth the first time past the timing beam to claim sixth at the end of the thirty-minute-plus-two-lap moto. Changing his tactics to cut across the back of the pack to the inside of turn one in race two brought no more joy and he was again stuck in the pack. Fourteenth at the end of the opening lap, another vibrant race brought him to fifth at the finish for the same placing overall on the day. He is now fourth in the series standings, just two points from third after missing the podium for the first time this season.
Romain Febvre: « It was a tough weekend; it was certainly not what I was expecting as I like to come here and I had some good pre-season races in the sand. I had a small crash at the start of the Qualifying race and I knew that being last on the gate would be difficult; I tried two different options but with the first two turns at 180 degrees it was impossible to get a good start from the outside. I think that I rode two great races today, coming back from outside the top-twenty to sixth and fifth; my riding was OK but I lost so much time to pass the guys in the pack while the other top riders were in front all day. But I saved important points for the championship on a difficult day today; that’s important and now we focus on the next GP at Arco."
Fresh from his fourth place in Qualifying Jeremy Seewer took his KX450-SR to his second holeshot of the weekend in race one but a hard attack by a rival through an early turn pushed him back to tenth at the end of the opening lap. He maintained that position for one further lap until a nasty crash, in which his bike landed on his back, over a rutted take-off pushed him out of the top-twenty. The tough Swiss shrugged off the pain to ride a typically hard-working comeback, making his final pass for eleventh on the final lap. Another superb start in moto two saw him run top-four for more than half the race before teammate Febvre and a couple of renowned sand specialists pushed him back to a still highly-respectable seventh at the finish to earn eighth overall on the day and consolidate his sixth place in the series standings.
Jeremy Seewer: "Let's start with the positive; holeshots both days ! Today was even tougher than yesterday; the track didn't become flatter in the course of the weekend and thirty minutes is another story. Tim put me off track at turn three in the first race and I couldn't find a rhythm after that. I think I would still have been fine for sixth or seventh but I had a big crash. I had a much better flow in race two and could run fourth for half the moto but I had used so much energy in race one and had to settle for seventh in the end. Eighth on the day is not up to my standards on paper, but now I'm looking forward to the tracks which suit me more than here. We fly back to Belgium this week to test on hard-pack and be ready for Trentino."
Bike It Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team's Jack Chambers kept his head up in the third round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship to finish a difficult weekend with a fighting sixteenth place in the second GP moto. The American had been shunted into the ditch on the outside of turn one during the Qualifying race on Saturday, leaving him with an outside gate for both GP motos on Sunday. He salvaged what he could by railing the outside to exit turn one sixteenth in race one and was maintaining that position until he high-sided through a series of rugged bumps on lap four, losing any hope of a championship score. A similar ride in race two saw him secure in thirteenth until an incident on the rugged track three laps from the finish cost him three positions. His gallant efforts were sufficient to defend his thirteenth placing in the series standings. Teammate Bobby Bruce was badly shaken in a collision at the first corner of race one and had to withdraw for the rest of the day with  painful wrist.