With the MXGP championship due to recommence in Latvia on August 9th many GP riders took advantage of the opportunity to contest their first race for several months on the sandy layout of Arnhem.
For Romain Febvre it was his first race since the Lacapelle Marival international in February and after several weeks of training the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team rider immediately had a good feeling with the track to take pole with the fastest lap time in the practice session. He took a decisive holeshot in the first race and stayed in front throughout to celebrate his first race win in Green thirty minutes later. Second at the start of the second moto later in the afternoon he took the lead after a few laps but just missed another victory after a few minor mistakes; finishing runner-up in this moto, just one second behind local sand expert Glenn Coldenhoff, Romain was second overall with first- and second-placed moto finishes to the Dutch rider’s 2-1. Romain will race again next weekend at Axel, also in The Netherlands, while fellow KRT runner Clement Desalle will make his racing comeback at the GP in Latvia.
Team F&H Kawasaki had their full line-up at the gate in the MX2 class with Roan van de Moosdijk immediately showing his potential with the fastest performance in the timed practice session to also sit on pole. Unfortunately Roan didn’t manage good starts in either races and had to come back through the pack twice to finish fourth each time for third overall; he thus celebrated his first podium of the season behind Jago Geerts and Thomas Kjer Olsen, both proven GP winners. His teammates were not quite as successful as Mikkel Haarup and Mathys Boisrame could each only finish one moto. Tenth in the timed practice session Mathys was in fifth position when he crashed and damaged his bike in race one; despite a painful ankle he rode a decent second moto to finish eleventh. Only sixteenth in the timed practice period Mikkel worked his way into the top ten of the first race to cross the finishing line in seventh place. Again in the top ten of the second moto, he had to retire as he made a mistake and damaged his bike. The team will also line up next weekend at Axel, the last race before the Latvian GPs.
Romain Febvre: “It was my first race for five and a half months so it was great just being behind a starting gate again! I was fastest in the timed practice period, got two good starts and had two good motos; it was even better than what I could expect for such a race as you inevitably feel tense when you didn’t race for a while. I had a good feeling all day long. The first moto was good as I led from start to finish. In the second race I was second behind Coldenhoff and passed him after a few laps; I was leading the race but the track was rough as usual in The Netherlands and I made several small mistakes. Glenn and Paulin passed me, but then I could overtake Gautier again to finish just behind Glenn. It was a good weekend; I’m very happy with everything - the bike, the team, my condition - and now we have one more race next weekend in Axel before the MXGP of Latvia.”
Roan Van de Moosdijk: “I felt really good this weekend; I was fastest in the timed practice session, but then in both motos I started outside the top ten. In the first moto I worked my way up to fourth to battle with Olsen and Beaton which was good but in the last couple of laps I had arm pump after such a long time without a race. In the second moto my riding was even better; I didn’t suffer any more arm pump and passed many GP riders such as Beaton and Vialle so that’s good for the confidence. I’m happy with third overall; now we just need to work a little bit on the starts.”
Mikkel Haarup: “First moto I got a good start in the top ten; I rode decent, nothing special, and finished seventh. I again made a good start in the second moto but I made a small mistake when I was again in the top ten; I picked my bike up quickly but two jumps later I realised my handlebars were damaged. Overall I’m happy with this weekend; I’m healthy and looking forwards to the GPs. The bike is powerful and everything is good; I just need to work on some little details now.”
Mathys Boisrame: “It was not a perfect day for me; the timed practice session was OK with a tenth position and I got a good start in the first moto, racing a few laps in the top five until I crashed, hit my ankle, and the race was finished for me as the radiator was damaged in the crash. Second moto I had pain in my ankle; I did my best to finish eleventh despite a bad start. It wasn’t an easy race but I didn’t want to give up and now we’ll try to recover as soon as possible with my injury.”