Romain Febvre made a quiet debut with Monster Energy KRT at the opening round of the Internazionali d'Italia series at Riola Sardo in Italy. Febvre had only spent a month on the KX 450 – a bike that he had never ridden before – but opted to race in the deep sand to gauge where he and team are at in a race scenario. Febvre was fourteenth in the MX1 moto and eleventh in the Super Final. MX Vice correspondent Lorenzo Resta caught up with him to discuss that following the event.
MX Vice: We are here in Riola, a place that you know very well. You trained here for many years with Yamaha. This year everything is new though. The team is new. Teammate is new. Bike is new. Everything. This is a completely fresh start.
Romain Febvre: Yeah, it's a new start but it's the same place. Like you said, I'm used to coming to Sardinia. When the team asked me where I wanted to spend my winter, I said Sardinia again. I like the place! You have many tracks here. We came as soon as I could get back on the bike after my injury. I think since December we have been here practicing.
It's a time for you to rebuild, after not riding for so long. It was three months, right?
Yeah, for sure. I was three months out of the bike. First of all, three months is not that much for a femur. Normally it takes longer but I had really good surgery. The recovery was good, so I could start after three months. I had still a little bit of pain in the beginning. Even now sometimes I have it but I can ride like how I want. I just started to build. When I started with the bike it was a new bike, so I need to learn everything again. Also to learn the mechanics, the people around me, how they work and how they work as a team. Everything is new, but I like it. It's a new year for me. It's good to be back.
From outside it looks like you are really calm, relaxed, smiling and talking with everyone. No pressure. Just building up from here until Matterley Basin.
Yeah. That's the goal. We are not at one hundred percent. I was not sure whether to even race Riola. This week we had a long week of testing with all the team and it was really positive. We said we would race Riola just to see how it's going during racing. Physically though, I’m not ready yet. The result… I don't care so much. I think I'm not going to do the next one. Ottobiano I won't do. Maybe Mantova and then like LaCapelle in France. The main goal is to be close to one hundred percent at Matterley Basin and then after that it will be tough.
I just want to ask you about the stupid joke that everyone is doing, since you changed your number. Same bike, same gear and same number as Eli Tomac.
It's just that I wanted to change. When I was in hospital after all my injuries I said, "Maybe I want to change?" I was not sure. In the end I thought that if I wanted to change my number one time then it's at this point that I needed to do it, because I have changed everything else. I said, "Let's do it!" I wanted a big change, so only one digit. Many of the single digits were picked already. The two was not picked and neither was three, but four was.
Five was free, I think, but six was [Benoit] Paturel and seven was [Tanel] Leok. Eight and nine were free, I think. The two I didn't like so much, and if I chose the two for sure they would say about [Ryan] Villopoto. I like the three. It looks good on the shirt and on the bike. It's nothing to do with Eli. It's just like this. I didn’t check before but my teammate has the same number as [Marvin] Musquin, and it's just because they are not riding the same bike that it's something different.
Interview: Lorenzo Resta | Lead Image: Race Kawasaki