A 2020 deal has been struck for Romain Febvre by Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing that will place the former factory Yamaha rider on a KX450 in the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Febvre has signed a multi-year deal that will see the Frenchman join Clement Desalle — a line-up that Kawasaki Racing hopes will see them challenging for podiums and world titles.
Both Desalle and Febvre had a tough season this year due to injuries but they remain two of the fastest riders in the highly-competitive MXGP class.
Crowned world champion in 2015 during his rookie season Febvre – who will turn 28 in December – has raced to podium results every year since he joined the MXGP category; despite missing a third of the 2018 season due to injuries he claimed five GP podiums with a double-victory in the Czech Republic, won four motos, took four pole-positions, led 90 laps of racing and posted the fastest lap five times.
With his long racing experience he will form a perfect twin-spearhead alongside Desalle – the Belgian will enter his fifth season with the team and has formed a perfect relationship with both the bike and the team staff who are more excited than ever to start working with both riders.
Desalle has now recovered from his injury and will start testing soon, while Febvre still needs to wait a few more weeks to recover from the broken leg he sustained during the Swedish round of the world championship when he was racing for another podium result.
“We turn to a new page but the book is still open and there is a new adventure on the horizon,” said Febvre. “I’m very happy with this choice – it’s never easy to change after five years on the same team but I’m sure this is the best moment to do it.
“My injury late this season will delay my first days with the team, but I will be even more motivated later this winter when I can get back on a bike again!
“Everyone in the team is highly motivated and I’m impatient to be with them and on the bike. As far as my injury is concerned it’s taking a long time of course but everything is going as planned by the medical staff – I will soon have the first examination six weeks after surgery; we’ll see how it is with the femur and we’ll be able to make our plans for the rehabilitation.
“I will take a longer winter break than usual but patience is the only option and I don’t want to endanger any stage so I will be able to start testing in good conditions and to open this new chapter of my career on a good basis. The team is 100 per cent behind me – they have a strong experience of racing and I’m sure we’ll achieve great things together.”
KRT team owner Thierry Chizat Suzzoni: “We are very happy to welcome Romain to the team alongside Clement – both have a lot of experience and I’m convinced that they will join forces to cooperate and get the best from our Kawasaki; it’s a great bike which both of them will want to put on the podium.
“We know that Romain always gives 100 per cent and we confidently expect that both he and Clement will put the bike in the leading pack. It gives us great satisfaction to see one of this season’s GP winners so enthusiastic to join us. We are confident that the new KX450, which we have developed so meticulously since the end of last year, has a huge potential. It’s a winning bike and we now have two GP winners on the team to show that to the world.”
Kawasaki Europe race manager Steve Guttridge: “This is going to be an exciting chapter in both the teams and Kawasaki’s MXGP history. We are putting all efforts into KRT for 2020 so now with Clement being joined by Romain we believe that we are ready to seriously fight for the title”