Romain Febvre, from near obscurity to MXGP World Champ and MXoN supremacy. Photos by: Yamaha Racing
Team France rider Romain Febvre is the king of world motocross, at the moment there is no doubt in that. Without question the rider of the year with his MXGP world title, his MXoN victory and his USGP victory on American soil. Going 1-1 in Ernee was what many expected and now he will move into 2016 with a target on his back.
In many ways it was an Antonio Cairoli type of effort from Febvre in 2015 as he totally dominated the opposition in both the MXGP and MXoN. An MXGP rookie, and an MXoN rookie, not sure anyone has ever done what Febvre did in 2015, not the great Stefan Everts, the great Roger De Coster or the great Antonio Cairoli, rookies just don’t do what Febvre did in 2015.
Will he be a one year wonder, or is Romain Febvre a legend in waiting? We caught up with Febvre for a short interview after his MXoN victory.
Romain, the level in Ernee was really high, how much did you have to go to your limit this weekend?
I gave 100%, I was at the top of my level. The first moto it might have looked like I was good, but I didn’t feel comfortable and I was really tight and really careful everywhere I rode. To win the moto was good, but I didn’t feel that great. The second moto was much better, I was riding really well, but Ben Townley was just unbelievable, really good. I caught him and passed him, I saw he was staying behind me, and I wanted to just make a gap, maybe a few seconds, but it was impossible to make a gap. I gave 100% and we were so well prepared for this race.
You mentioned that you struggled a little with the pressure. In the MXGP series this year you were like the iceman, no pressure and just completely under control. How was it under the MXoN pressure cooker?
You know, normally on a GP I don’t have any pressure, even fighting for a GP win or the title, I never felt pressure, but this weekend I felt it for sure. Mainly because of the crowd, 30,000 or 40,000 waiting for the victory and you could feel that. It was my first MXoN and I didn’t know what to expect, even on Saturday we won all the moto’s and then the crowd expected a win for sure and they trusted us. It was great.
But obviously the crowd also gave you a lot of help?
They helped a lot, gives pressure, but it is positive pressure and they also gave 100% and it was like you had your mechanic running around the whole track following you and it was a great point.
You have had pretty much the perfect season. When do you think you wake up and this 2015 was just a dream?
I hope never to wake up.
Would you be excited if Townley came back and raced the MXGP series, or maybe somebody like Barcia?
Sure, you know, I love racing and if some American guys or Townley wanted to race that is good for us. In Glen Helen he showed something, but at the MXoN he was really good. I think he led his qualification race for some time and he was strong in both moto’s on Sunday and he has the speed and the condition. I think it would be a good thing if he came back to MXGP.
I noticed when you were around Cooper Webb, on occasions you looked very careful, like you were not sure what to expect from him. Was that the case?
For sure already in Glen Helen it was close, but it was clean all weekend, and they (Team USA) want to win and it was sometimes tight and they had to try something if they were faster, it was a track you had to work hard to pass somebody. The first moto between Justin (Barcia) and Marvin (Musquin) was not that clean and I hoped that Musquin came back and made some bad pass on Justin, but it didn’t happen then he crashed.