Febvre ruled out of MXGP World Championship finale this weekend.
Team France has drafted in former MX2 world champion Jordi Tixier to replace Romain Febvre (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing) at this year’s Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) hosted by RedBud in the USA.
Febvre, who’s been a member of the French MXoN winning squad for the past three years, suffered a heavy fall at the MXGP of Turkey, resulting in a concussion and broken rib that has ultimately called for a premature end to his season.
“I feel better, but not every day,” said Febvre. “The crash in Turkey was not a small one, it was a big impact and it is taking some time to heal. I have decided to not compete in Imola and at the ‘Nations which is a shame. I am not normally somebody who quits easily, I will always do everything to ride, but this time I feel I cannot.
“I am honestly quite disappointed but the championship is more or less over for me. I wanted to be top three, so if I finish fifth or sixth, it really does not make a difference to me. It is not where I want to be. Then for the ‘Nations, I feel that I am not ready and if I miss so much time and riding on the bike then I will struggle to be prepared enough to fight for the win, which is what I expect from myself.”
Tixier, who didn’t have a deal announced at the time of his appointment, will step in for Febvre aboard a VHR-prepared KTM 450 SX-F, with the team confirming after the MXoN announcement that it will support him in the 2019 MXGP World Championship. He will join Gautier Paulin (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) and Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Star Racing) on the French team.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider and Pro Motocross regular Marvin Musquin was initially snubbed for a spot on the team, while it’s understood he was asked to fulfil the position vacated by Febvre, declining the offer while he maximises his off-season.