Matterley Basin, Great Britain (01 March 2020) – A day of firsts has seen Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts make his 2020 goals and intentions clear with an emphatic Grand Prix win, the first of his career, at the opening round of the FIM MX2 World Championship in Matterley Basin, Great Britain. Consequently, the 19-year-old has also clinched the first red-plate of the new season for the first time in his career as the MX2 championship leader.
The spectacular Matterley Basin circuit that hosted the first MX2 Grand Prix of 20, presented challenging conditions after torrential rain and high-speed winds drenched and battered the venue only days prior. As a result of the weather, Infront Moto Racing, the series promoters revised the program on Saturday 29th February which only allowed time for one practice session out on track.
In the opening race, Geerts emerged from turn-one in sixth position. Despite his tender age, he showed maturity as he stalked the top-five for the first 10-minutes before taking a run at the lead.
With 20-minutes remaining, the enormous crowd erupted with noise as the young Belgian passed the hometown hero Conrad Mewse for fourth position and set his sights on second place. The battle for second was a thriller with five riders charging for the same spot and it only got more entertaining when the early race leader, Tom Vialle, gifted Geerts the lead after he stalled his bike on the penultimate turn of Lap-9.
Geerts capitalized on the error of his rival and used the undeniable torque and speed of his YZ250FM to take the first race victory of the 2020 season, and second race win of his career.
Meanwhile, Ben Watson suffered from arm-pump after having three-weeks off the bike due to a broken hand but was still happy to finish seventh in the opening race given his circumstances.
Fired up after a sensational victory in Race 1, Geerts took his YZ250FM to an impressive holeshot in Race 2 but was shuffled back to second position on the opening lap by young new-comer Rene Hofer.
Geerts remained calm in second place but was caught out by the rough and rugged circuit and fell while challenging for the lead. After making a quick remount, the 193 responded to his mistake by setting the fastest lap of the race a single lap later.
The United Kingdom is renowned for its crazy weather patterns, and it did not fail to deliver. From forcefull winds to torrential rain, to bright blue skies to hail, the MXGP of Great Britain had it all and so did the second MX2 race of the weekend.
Geerts was unphased by the elements as he continued to find new lines and pass more riders on his way to a fourth place finish to end his weekend with a career milestone, his first ever Grand Prix victory, and his first time leading the MX2 World Championship.
Watson labored home 22nd after a rear issue left him without a rear brake. He now starts the season 15th overall in the MX2 Championship Classification.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team led by Hans Corvers has finally obtained the red plate for the first time in the 23-year history of the team. Their achievement marks a first for Yamaha in MX2 since Antonio Cairoli took the red plate onboard a YZ250F at the British Grand Prix in Matterley Basin in 2008.
The next round of the MX2 World Championship which will take place in a weeks’ time in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands on the weekend of March 8th.
Jago Geerts – MX2 Grand Prix of Great Britain Winner
“It feels really good. It was a nice weekend. It was a little bit difficult in the second race. I crashed and hurt my shoulder a little bit but still managed to come back and get my first GP win. I’m really happy with that, and I get the red plate for the first time which is nice especially with Valkenswaard next weekend, a track that is not far from my home, I think it will be really special with a lot of fans out there. It will be nice, and I can’t wait.”
Ben Watson – MX2 Grand Prix of Great Britain 15th Position
“I didn’t expect a lot this weekend. I had missed a lot of bike time with a small hand injury. I was pretty happy with my first race considering the bike time we had yesterday. I actually needed all of the sessions yesterday, but they were canceled, so that was a little bit annoying. I got really tight in the first race, but I backed off a bit and that helped. I know seventh isn’t an amazing result, but I will take that for race one. It was solid points. Unfortunately, in the second race, I had an issue with my rear brake, so I had to ride the whole race without it. It’s only the first round so it’s not the end of the world. I’m still healthy and we will be ready to go again next week.”