The floodgates for Thibault Benistant’s EMX250 title campaign have opened at the Zelta-Zirgs circuit with the 18-year-old Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 rider celebrating his third consecutive EMX250 round victory at the fourth round of the series in Kegums, Latvia.
With Kegums hosting three back-to-back races, the circuit was changed over the course of the last two days to provide a ‘new-ish’ track for the EMX250 riders on their third and final outing. Right off the bat, both Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 riders gelled with the changes. Gianluca Facchetti went Pole for the second time this season, while Benistant set the third fastest lap time to go to the gate third.
Facchetti rocketed his GYTR kitted YZ250F out of the gate in Race 1 and looked in line for a maiden EMX250 race victory. The 18-year-old Italian was sensational as he set the fastest of the lap of the race while challenging for the lead but with less than 12-minutes on the clock, the ‘22’ suffered heartbreak with his chain breaking on the landing of a big tabletop jump.
While Facchetti could not continue, Benistant put in the ride of his life as he charged from outside of the top-10 to challenge for the victory in the closing stages. After a thrilling few laps where he bettered his teammates lap time for top honors on the penultimate lap of the race, the ‘198’ played his race perfectly and passed Kay de Wolf on the final lap for an emphatic race win.
With the sun blazing overhead and temperatures hovering around 28 degrees Celsius, Facchetti held a tight line around turn-one to emerge in second position in the last race, as his teammate Benistant had to fight back from another mid-pack start after being squeezed by his competitors off the line.
Facchetti faded back after over-exerting himself in the early stages of the race. He was classified 33rd after a crash in the wave section, while Benistant highlighted his impressive race-craft with another tactful charge through the pack to finish fourth.
After another two strong races, Benistant has won his third consecutive EMX250 round and has extended his lead in the championship. He now has a 38-point lead over Mattia Guadagnini.
1st EMX250 Round of Kegums, 45-points
EMX250 Championship Leader, 174-points
“Today was much more difficult than the last wins because I started really bad. I needed to push hard to come back. I feel really good to win three GP in a row because in EMX125 I didn’t win one, so it feels amazing and I am really happy.”