News 28 Nov 2017

Febvre wary of last MXGP experience in 2018 preparations

Monster Energy Yamaha factory rider mindful of this year's misdirection.

Words: Adam Wheeler

Source: Supplied.

Former MXGP world champion Romain Febvre has gone through the bulk of testing for the 2018 series and is mindful of the misdirection he took with the factory Monster Energy Yamaha team last winter as he looks to shape the new YZ450FM into a competitive package.

The 25-year-old did not win a grand prix this year for the first time in what was his third season in the premier class. He was sixth in the standings and managed two podium finishes in the latter half of the campaign.

Febvre looked to reverse an error with development and engine character that left the Yamaha struggling out of the MXGP gate and also difficult for the Frenchman to push for both 30-minute and two-lap motos, which was a far way from his title-winning 2015 form.

“Last year we made a mistake with the setting and we went the wrong way and I don’t want it to happen again,” Febvre commented last week. “We learned a lot and have actually done all our testing now for 2018 in terms of the engine and we still have some small jobs to do with suspension and chassis, but nothing too crazy. After a bad year I really do not want a repeat.”

Febvre’s testing duties with teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek and Mino Raspanti’s prolific and hard-working crew involved making sure the 2018 YZ450FM is ready to face the likes of KTM, Husqvarna, Honda and Kawasaki next year.

As he prepares to embark on his physical programme for next year, he admitted the pre-season plans for racing and last dialling-in work have still to be finalised, but he could again head to Sardinia to ride and contest the three-round Italian championship.