30 August 2015
Febvre world champ as Simpson takes Assen win
Britons Shaun Simpson and Max Anstie on the podium at the road race venue
Rookie MXGP rider Romain Febvre took his first world championship title with a stunning ride to runner-up spot in the Assen GP, but was no match on the day for Briton Shaun Simpson who took the overall win with a 1-3 finish.
For Febvre, he left the day with more than 100 points in the lead - meaning he is uncatchable in the last remaining GPs in Mexico and USA.
The Frenchman, who had to move up the MXGP class this year as his birthday on New Year's Eve meant he was too old to continue in MX2, made sure of the title with second overall.
He said: “I wasn't even sure I was champ in the last race. I looked back and saw Glenn was second but I still wasn't sure. Then I saw everyone happy with the flags.
“I entered the season as a rookie and I won. I still can't believe it! And I will be back even stronger next year!”
KTM rider Simpson, who took his second overall GP win of the season, also moved up to fourth in the championship, overhauling eight-times world champ Tony Cairoli as top KTM man. Simpson said: “It's just been great. Three moto wins this year – it's blown my expectations away. Steady Eddy pays off. I'm getting the support I deserve as KTM is really stepping up to the mark!
“I'm a working class dude and I'm here on the top step again. It was a great experience here around Assen but the track developed well. It was fun coming here and I can't complain at that!”
In the first moto, Max Nagl took the holeshot as Honda men Evgeny Bobryshev and Gautier Paulin tailed him from Jose Butron and Coldebhoff. The Honda duo got past Nagl and stayed close together at the front.
Simpson dropped it in the third corner but quickly got back on and by the end of the lap was seventh. The Scotsman wasted no time in passing Coldenhoff, Dean Ferris and Nagl to take third place and began to reel in the leading Honda duo.
Bobryshev almost wiped out his team-mate Paulin who eventually got past, but they had no answer for KTM man Simpson as he raced past them both to take the lead and slowly began to ease away from Paulin at the head of the field.
Simpson pulled away then with three laps to go, Paulin slipped off, allowing the KTM man a 14-second win. Bobby held on for third in front of Coldenhoff and Febvre.
Simpson said: “I'm pretty good in sand to be fair! I fell on first lap but managed to come through, but I ate a lot of roost!”
Race two saw Bobryshev take the lead from holeshot man Butron who slowly dropped down the leaderboard, but not after a big battle with Febvre, Simpson and Ferris for second.
Bobryshev was reeled in and passed by Febvre as Simpson tried to hold off Coldenhoff for third, but the Dutchman slipped through.
Bobby then had a huge crash and remounted in fourth, but eventually lost that slot to his team-mate Paulin. That slip cost the Russian the GP overall win from Simpson wjho held onto third behind moto winner Febvre and local hero Coldenhoff.
Honda's Tim Gajser took the lead from rival Pauls Jonass in the MX2 world championship as a crash ruined Max Anstie's chance of overall victory.
Gajser won the first race after race leader Max Anstie looped out in the opener – meaning his world title chances took a dive. And the Slovenian tailed Anstie over the line in race two to take the overall win from Anstie and Belgian Brent Van Doninck.
Gasjer, who took his fifth win of the year, said: “I didn't expect it in the sand. I prefer hard tracks. Today I had two solid starts and was riding good.” It was the first time Honda has a red plate in the MX2 class since Marvin Musquin in 2009.
Anstie said: “It was a difficult day as we had some issues. Even in race two I was struggling with ten minutes to go. We seemed to lose a lot of power.”
It was disaster for Jonas as he crashed on the first turn in moto two and had to pit to get a broken front brake removed. He rode an incredible race to finish 15th but lost his red plate.
The opener was led by Dutchman Davy Pootjes but he soon moved over to let his team-mate Jonass by, chased by Anstie. The Kawasaki man soon moved into second but soon fell hard in a big loop-out, bending the back end of his bike and struggled to get it restarted.
Anstie got back on just inside the top 20 then spent the rest of the race picking off riders one by one. He came back to ninth.
Jonass led from Julien Lieber until Gajser carved through to take the lead from his rival and pull away by 4.5 seconds. Lieber took third from Brent Van Doninck.
In moto two Jonass went down exiting the first turn, destroying his front brake. He had to pit to have the front brake removed and re-joined the race a lap down, knowing he had to salvage any points he could n his bid to win the world title. Jonass had an incredible ride, setting lap times the same as the third place man and managed to finish an unbelievable 15th.
Anstie was third behind Pootjes and Seewer but was soon through and started to pull away from holeshot man Pootjes, as Gajser held seventh after a near-miss on the start.
As Anstie made it look easy and cleared off, Gajser pulled through to take second place and the overall win.
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