Febvre immediately confirmed a solid performance in Qualifying with a top four start in the first moto. Setting the fastest laps of the day the Frenchman enjoyed an enthralling duel with the eventual winner during the first half of the moto until losing contact as they hauled in the early leaders; several times he came desperately close to following through into second until a momentary lapse of momentum temporarily cost him contact and a further slip on the final lap nullified his hopes of second. Initially eighth in race two the Frenchman lost contact to the leading group during the early laps as he endeavoured to pass his first race rival but once past he again confirmed his speed by regularly setting the fastest lap of the leaderboard sextet on the ever-rougher track. Entering the final lap he had the overall winner and his chasers in his sights but simply ran out of time to make a move and rolled through the final two turns to claim sixth in moto and narrowly miss the overall podium in fifth in a tight points struggle. Despite missing the first two rounds of the series through injury he is now ninth in the series standings.
Romain Febvre: “The first race was really good. I had a good start and was third; I was happy with my riding but after twenty minutes I lost the contact with the leaders when I made a mistake in front of the pits. I pushed hard to recover but on the last lap I made another small mistake. My second start was not so good. I rode a strong opening lap to come through but the leaders were already a long way in front when I finally got to sixth; I had some nice battles with Seewer, Coldenhoff and Clement, but in the end I had to be satisfied with sixth. I’m a little bit disappointed as a podium was possible with a better start, but that’s racing!“
KRT teammate Clement Desalle bravely defied the discomfort from recent injuries to maintain his lap times throughout each thirty-minute-plus-two-lap race; indeed, the gritty Belgian called on all of his spirited reserves of energy and commitment in the stifling heat to set his personal fastest lap of race two on the very last tour as he resisted all attempts to wrestle his deserved ninth place. After racing the entire first moto on the edge of the top ten to finish eleventh, KX450-SR power took him through the uphill first turn in the top three of race two and, although soon pushed back to sixth, he displayed remarkable resistance for the remainder of the moto to only surrender three more places. Eleventh overall on the day, he is now tenth in the series points standings.
Clement Desalle: “It was a little better than last weekend; I feel some improvement. My first start was not so good and I made some mistakes in the early laps so I finished eleventh. My second start was really good in third position, but I’m not back on the form of some rivals at the moment due to the situation with my neck and my back; eleventh and ninth are not so bad as this time last week I wasn’t even sure I would be able to race. My second race was better; for sure it was the best of the last four here at Faenza. At the end of the race I still have some pain in my back; I hope that with some more rest and physical training it will be better on Sunday. I want to thank the team for their support during this difficult period.”
The teams now have three days to recuperate before the third GP in eight days around the picturesque Monte Coralli circuit on Sunday.