Yamaha Riders Optimistic for MXGP Season Opener

Yamaha Riders Optimistic for MXGP Season Opener

27.02.2019: After a successful winter period, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Romain Febvre and Jeremy Seewer, and Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP's Arnau

After a successful winter period, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Romain Febvre and Jeremy Seewer, and Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP's Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin are set for the opening round of the MXGP World Championship, which will commence this weekend, on March 2nd and 3rd at the circuit of Neuquen, in Argentina.

All four riders have shown promise in the events leading into round one of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Romain Febvre and Gautier Paulin topped the charts last weekend at the French International in La Capelle-Marival, France, against a stacked line-up of MXGP stars. Their respective teammates Jeremy Seewer and Arnaud Tonus finished third and fourth overall making it a clean sweep for Yamaha.

With three podium finishes already to his credit this year, two in Italy followed by a victory at the French International last weekend, Febvre is feeling fit, fast and strong. The twenty-seven-year old is rediscovering the same form he had on his YZ450FM back in 2015, the same year he won the MXGP World Championship, and hopes that this season he can add to his current tally of 32 MXGP podium finishes.

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's newest recruit Jeremy Seewer had a gruelling off-season with a lung infection causing a four-week setback. However, at the ripe age of 24-years-old he has bounced back quickly and impressively wrapped up his first and only pre-season race with a podium finish. The Swiss rider has admitted he is not yet at 100%, but he is keeping a positive mind set ahead of the forthcoming MXGP campaign.

Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP's Gautier Paulin is no stranger to the podium in the world's premier motocross series. The extremely talented Frenchman made his 450cc debut on a Yamaha YZ450F back in 2011 with a jaw-dropping victory at the clay circuit of Fermo, Italy.

The following year he finished third overall inside the MXGP class in his maiden season and has since bettered that with a silver-medal finish in 2015. Having mounted the podium 53 times in his professional career, Paulin is more than capable of threatening the crown. After a progressive off-season with the team where he made some great strides in the development of his YZ450F, the 29-year-old intends on proving his promise.

Entering a third year under the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP awning, Arnaud Tonus has returned to full strength and is back in 'race mode' after a years' hiatus due to a double shoulder reconstruction. The 28-year-old is poised for a successful year.

The FIM MX2 World Championship will also burst into action at the fast, wide and flowing circuit of Patagonia Argentina this weekend. Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2's Ben Watson added to Yamaha's dominance at the French International last weekend going unbeaten in every practice session as well as both races. The 21-year-old's confidence is high, as he aims to finish the 2019 MX2 season inside the top-three.

Watson will be joined on the gate by teammate Jago Geerts. At the tender age of 18-years-old, and as last years 'rookie of the year' award winner, Geerts is gunning for a top-five this season and hopes to be a consistent contender for the a place on the podium.

Both MXGP and MX2 World Championships will kick off on Saturday 2nd of March with two practice sessions and a qualifying race. Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2's Ben Watson will also be a live guest on the MXGP Studio Show which will be broadcasted live on at 12:00 local time (CET 16:00).

Each class will race two championship points paying races on Sunday 3rd with MX2 Race 1 taking place at 12:15 local time followed immediately by MXGP Race 1 at 13:15. Gates will drop for MX2 Race 2 at 15:10 and MXGP Race 2 at 16:10. All races, including the Qualifying Races, will be broadcasted live on The time zone is - 4 on Central European Time.

Romain Febvre
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP

"My feeling with the bike and on the team is really good at the moment. Also my physical condition is good. Right from the beginning of the pre-season races I have felt good although I was riding a little bit tight in Italy but it got better and last weekend it was much better. I felt in the race last weekend that I was back, that I could race with the same feeling I have practicing.

We have been working hard on the bike, we have made some good progress and we are still moving in the right direction to improve even more. For the first round of MXGP in Argentina this weekend, it is nothing special; I don't want to put any pressure on myself. I just want to ride relaxed and enjoy it as it is my favourite track on the calendar."

Jeremy Seewer
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP

“I love Argentina. I have loved racing there every year that I have been there. The venue is great, around the venue is good and there is good food. I have had quite a tough winter and I feel I am far from my full potential, but I will take it easy with a goal to improve step-by-step.

My goal is to be inside the top-five, but I have only done one race this year, so I just need to stay relaxed, and if I am able to push 100% for 35 minutes then we will see. Regardless, I am confident I can show some good speed this season.”

Arnaud Tonus
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP

"I feel great to be back behind the gate again. I made a last minute decision to race the French International last weekend, but in the end I felt it was a good choice. We have made a lot of improvements since my last race in Mantova, Italy.

I was much more consistent in my riding and the feeling on the bike was much better too. We have made some small changes to the suspension and I am happy with where we are at and I'm looking forward to Argentina. The goal is to build up to where I should be, not to rush anything, just to turn up feeling strong to make a solid start and give all I have."

Gautier Paulin
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP

“I have had a really good pre-season. We knew that to set-up the bike in such a short time frame would be challenging but we were aware and we took each day as it came. It’s going well and I am feeling good, although it is tough to feel 100% ready but the bikes are in the crate and we are feeling positive for the first round of MXGP.

I also like the track, and love the atmosphere in Argentina. The track looks awesome and I can’t wait to get back on the gate, mainly because racers are not only made to be doing boot camp. Racers are made to race, and I am a racer. I just want to get on the gate and be at my best this season, that is the goal.”

- Yamaha Amsterdam - also photos


27.02.2019 / MaP

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