The Frenchman, less than half a second off pole during morning Qualifying after topping Free Practice, was full of confidence headed into racing and rode a truly enthralling opening lap in race one after being closed down off the gate and pushed wide at turn two; switching lines at will aboard the agile KX450-SR he swept around three rivals in one turn alone before diving inside another quick-gater for third before the completion of the lap. Keen to continue the momentum he set his sights on the series points leader next, twice pulling alongside but on the less favourable line for the following turn, before the situation became even more intense as the duel allowed the third title rival to close onto his rear wheel; fully aware that an overzealous attack could open the door to his chaser Febvre cleverly dropped off the front man several times so that he could use his pace to mount renewed attacks without danger from behind but making the final pass stick around the switchback track in the shadow of the Dolomites has always proven notoriously difficult and he eventually had to settle for third at the chequered flag. The Frenchman tore through the opening turns of race two in second place and within half-a-lap had taken over the lead. A moto win, even the GP overall, appeared to be on the cards as he raced clear but with fifteen minute to go the Frenchman began to tense up as he made small mistakes to allow the chasers to close onto his rear wheel; switching to defence mode he was pushed back to fourth in the space of four short laps and, although he could maintain the pace once they were past, he had to accept fourth at the close to miss the podium even though his score on the day was the same as that of the runner-up. With four rounds of the championship remaining he retains second in the series points chase though he now trails the leader by twenty-four points. The series continues with the second of three GPs at the same venue on Wednesday.
Romain Febvre: “Of course I am disappointed to miss the podium as we are four riders with the same number of points for second! The first race was pretty good; my start was not that good but I made some passes during the first lap and my rhythm was good but it was difficult to pass during the rest of the race. Second race I got a great start and took the lead on the first lap; I had good lap times until mid-race, then I started to make little mistakes and I didn’t really know which better lines I could take; Glenn, Jeffrey and Tim passed me and of course I’m disappointed, but that’s how it is and we’ll try to do better on Wednesday. “
Mathys Boisrame, joining the team for the final five GPs of the season in place of the recently-operated Ivo Monticelli, made a stunning MXGP debut. An impressive tenth-fastest in Qualifying he experienced a torrid opening lap in traffic in race one as he crashed with another rider and found himself way back in twenty-fifth the first time past the timekeepers. But he responded admirably to soar through the pack, securing ninth place, in the wheel tracks of eighth, on the final lap. The second race followed a similar pattern with the rookie sixteenth on lap one but he again came through his baptism of fire with honours as he advanced to ninth once more for sixth overall, a superb result on his debut in the toughest race serie in the world.
Mathys Boisrame: “It was a good day for my first experience in the MXGP class! I posted the tenth fastest time in the morning but the first start was not easy and in the fourth corner I crashed with Cairoli! I was twenty-fifth and came back through to ninth which was not bad. The second start was similar but once more I came back to ninth. I am tired but satisfied with my riding and over the moon with a sixth overall at my first MXGP race. “