In the wake of an excellent 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship for Yamaha Factory Racing and Jeremy Van Horebeek with the works YZ450FM, Yamaha is pleased to announce that MX2 star Romain Febvre has signed to form a two rider spearhead in Michele Rinaldi’s squad for the premier MXGP class in 2015.
Febvre, a former European Champion, has developed through three years in the FIM Motocross World Championship to emerge as a Grand Prix winner in 2014 and finish third in the MX2 standings; the highest classified athlete from a group who graduate to MXGP next season and the very top international stage. The former supermoto racer – he also won the prestigious Mettet Superbiker event two weeks ago – took his first GP podiums in 2013 and made fantastic progress in 2014 to embellish his reputation as one of the FIM series’ brightest young prospects.
The 22 year old Frenchman is expected to form a promising bond with the YZ450FM that already shone in Van Horebeek’s hands this year as he kept pace in the chase for the 2014 MXGP crown. “I can finally start work this week and I’ve bought a plane ticket without a return journey at the moment because I’m keen to get to Italy and then see what we have to do,” the 2014 Grand Prix of State of Goias winner commented. “I’ve already had two quiet weeks and I want to get started with my preparation and work for 2015. I know I will have things to learn about MXGP and this new challenge but I believe I’m in the right place to do that.”
2015 will be not only represent Febvre’s first in MXGP but also on the larger 450cc motorcycle. “On the 250 I liked to use a lot of rpm and liked wide spread of power but we’ll have to see with the 450,” he offered. “From what I saw in 2014 Van Horebeek had the bike working really nicely and I’m sure I get the engine to my liking. I know the team have such a good name for giving riders the best packages they need.”
Yamaha Factory Racing toasted twelve podium finishes from seventeen rounds, Grand Prix victory in the Czech Republic and second place overall in MXGP thanks to a positive union with Van Horebeek. It is the latest occasion that a racer has gelled immediately with the YZ450FM after Josh Coppins, David Philippaerts and Steven Frossard all vied for the championship in their first terms since the New Zealander caused a stir in 2007. After a year in which the team split their priorities between MXGP and MX2 categories they will be focusing on the blue ribbon MXGP division, while Yamaha Motor Europe will spread their influence and offer significant support to several private teams to continue development on the vastly promising technical platform of the latest YZ250F in MX2.
“Our team changes for 2015 with Romain joining Jeremy in MXGP but we already made positive work with the YZ450FM in 2014 and I know we will be able to offer our new rider exactly the same possibilities with set-up and performance for next season,” commented Michele Rinaldi. “It was very positive for us and also Yamaha Motor Europe to be fighting for wins and podiums again this year and I cannot help but feel that we have strengthened again for what will be a long campaign in 2015.”
Image: Husqvarna Images/J.P Acevedo