Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts toasted a second consecutive Grand Prix victory at round five of the FIM MX2 World Championship in Kegums, Latvia. Teammate Ben Watson finished fourth overall after a season-best third-place finish in Race 1 and a hard-fought fifth in Race 2.
With Kegums hosting three back-to-back races, Infront Moto Racing – the promoters of the FIM Motocross World Championship – made some minor changes to the track for the third and final round of the Latvian tripleheader. The changes added a tight and twisty section behind pit-lane and slowed the lap times by approximately 10 seconds.
Because a hot and sunny day was forecasted, a lot of water was placed on the circuit ahead of Timed Practice with the idea of combatting dust. Geerts posted a top-five lap time, which gave him a decent gate-pick while Watson did not favour the conditions and finished up the session in 13th.
A good start can be the difference between winning and losing in motocross. After making changes to his YZ250FM ahead of racing today, Watson was able to rocket out of the gate for his first-ever MX2 holeshot in Race 1. Thriving on the adrenalin of a good start, the tall Brit ran a fierce pace and was able to post a season-best third-place result.
Geerts made a strong recovery after a mid-pack start and was able to pass his teammate, Watson, for second position on Lap-5 before hunting down the race leader, Tom Vialle. After impressively shaving down Vialle’s 8-second lead, the young Belgian’s hopes of a race win were ruined by a last-lap crash that was caused by a lapped rider. The determined youngster made a quick remount and managed to hold onto second position.
A better start in Race 2 allowed Geerts to flaunt his impressive speed. The 20-year-old Belgian was kept honest by Vialle for the first 30-minutes but remained calm and collected as he charged to a fifth race win of the season.
Watson missed a good start in the final race and suffered from heat fatigue as he brawled his way from ninth position to finish fifth. The 23-year-old narrowly missed the podium by 2-points.
Geerts remains second in the MX2 World Championship classification after his victory today. He is still 8-points off of the championship leader Vialle. Watson has moved up to seventh position.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship is scheduled to take place on September 6th in Turkey.
MX2 Grand Prix of Kegums Winner, 47-points
2nd MX2 World Championship, 209-points
“It was a good day for me. In the first race, I didn’t get a great start, but I made a lot of really good passes in the beginning and I think after 10-minutes I was in second. I got really close to Tom (Vialle) and I wanted to make one last move, but I crashed with a lapper. In the second race, I got the holeshot and rode a really good race for the win, so I am happy with that.”
4th MX2 Grand Prix of Kegums, 36-points
7th MX2 World Championship, 127-points
“I had a terrible feeling in qualifying. My lap time was horrible and I wasn’t enjoying the track. In Race 1 I took the holeshot which was amazing for me because we worked a lot yesterday trying to improve my starts. It was a weak point for me, so the team, Yamaha and I came together to make some important changes. I rode a good race even though I wasn’t on the pace of Jago and Tom. I was chuffed with third. In the last race I felt quite drained at the start of the race, but nearer to the end, I got my strength back and finished quite strong. So overall it was quite a positive day for me.”