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MXGP, MXGP OF PORTUGAL - Agueda, PORTUGAL, 30 Avril 2023

Romain Febvre takes second in Portugal

Romain Febvre and Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP finished runners-up in the Portuguese round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Agueda to go third in the series.

The Frenchman displayed his experience through the wide sweeping first two turns of the opening moto to emerge second and immediately settled into a good rhythm as he tracked the leader at arm's length. Having dropped the chasers off his rear wheel after three laps the Kawasaki leader closed significantly on the rider ahead through the next three laps but could not quite get close enough to present the opportunity for a pass and he eventually settled back into a good rhythm. Another charge during the closing stages saw him pull back the race-long leader to come up less than two seconds short of victory at the chequered flag. Momentarily losing momentum through the second turn of race two as a rider directly ahead of him lost traction saw the Frenchman fifth the first time past the timekeepers but he immediately pounced to sweep under the series leader halfway round the first lap for fourth. Looking to chase down the leaders he faced a frustrating quarter-of-an-hour as the rider in third made it awkward to pass. He eventually lined up a scintillating move through the waves but by then the two leaders were too far ahead for him to run them down. However, third in moto earnt second overall on the day and, more significantly, saw him pull back points on the series leader as he moves third in the points chase.
Romain Febvre: "I was feeling good all weekend. I had to push quite hard yesterday but I managed fifth from seventeenth in Qualifying so I knew I just needed to take decent starts today. Many of us had similar speed and I knew I had to pass quickly so I was happy with second in the first race. The second moto was tougher. I had a good clean fight with Seewer but then the two guys in front were gone. It's good to be back on the podium and take points back in the championship; I look forward to pulling back more next weekend in Spain.”
KRT teammate Mitch Evans found himself sixteenth at the completion of the first lap of race one after Qualifying had dealt him an outside gate and, intent not to blow himself up in his first race back from injury, he maintained that position for twenty minutes with consistent lap times before backing off slightly in the final laps to finish eighteenth. Another difficult start in race two saw the Australian narrowly miss the points in twenty-first.
Mitch Evans: "The last time I raced was in October and I knew the first race back would be tough. I'm a racer and expect more from myself so of course I'm a little disappointed but at least I'm back at the races and there were a lot of positives to take away from the weekend; my one-lap speed is good and it's easier to make a fast rider fit than to make a fit rider faster. I just need to get used to the intensity and race-craft again and we'll get there soon. There's no pressure from the team and I'm grateful for that."