Riding a wave of confidence after celebrating a first ever Grand Prix win only two-days ago, SM Action M.C. Migliori’s Maxime Renaux mounted the second step of the podium at the seventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Faenza, Italy, today to collect his third piece of Grand Prix silverware this season. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts managed to salvage fourth overall after a spectacular crash in the final race while teammate Ben Watson rounded out the top-10.
In the opening race, Geerts got his YZ250FM off to a blistering start but was pushed back to fourth by Italian wildcard Matthia Guadagnini followed by Renaux within the first few corners.
After 16-minutes, a gripping battle between the Yamaha stars had sparked. The duo swapped third position a couple of times as they reeled Guadagnini in to challenge for second position. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Renaux blasted up the inside of the Italian for the position with Geerts following suit a few turns later.
Having dropped Guadagnini almost instantly, the remainder of the race was a relentless sprint to the finish. At the flag it was Renaux who managed to hold off a hard charging Geerts for second position, leaving Geerts to round out the top-three.
There were many dramatic scenes in the final MX2 race with many riders crashing due to the slick yet sticky, rough and edgy nature of the track. Renaux was the first of the Yamaha riders to fall victim, with a mistake dropping the Frenchman from third position back to fifth, while Geerts chased down the Championship Leader, Tom Vialle.
After 20 minutes in second position, Geerts race win hopes were spoiled by an enormous crash in the uphill wave section. He managed to recover for ninth.
Renaux inherited a position as a result of Geerts’ crash and finished fourth.
The start was the main point of issue for Watson at the Città di Faenza Grand Prix as it is difficult for the tall Brit to gain time and make passes on a hilly yet tight and twisty circuit with many of his MX2 rivals weighing a lot less. After finishing ninth in the opening race, Watson proved he can run the pace of MX2’s front runners by setting the fastest lap of the Race 2 while dicing his way through the pack to fourth-position.
Watson remained the fastest rider in the race but ended up 11th after he was aggressively kicked over the ‘bars on a steep and bumpy decent.
Both Geerts and Renaux have retained their respective positions in the MX2 Championship. Geerts is second, 21-points shy of the leader, while Renaux is a further 50-points adrift.
The third and final round of the Italian tripleheader, round eight of the FIM Motocross World Championship, will take place here in Faenza on Sunday 13th September.
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Faenza, 40-points
3rd MX2 World Championship, 236-points
“It has been a great race. I had a good race where I finished second, so I was happy with that. I tried to push in Race 2 but I crashed at the top of the track.
Then I decided to ride without risk because the track was really tricky. I am happy to finish on the podium again.”
4th MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Faenza, 32-points
2nd MX2 World Championship, 286-points
“The first heat I was in fourth after the first lap and I was feeling good. After 15-minutes I moved up to third place behind Renaux but it was really difficult to pass so I tried a lot of things but I couldn’t get around him so finished third. The second heat, again a good start in second and was close to Vialle the whole moto. The last ten minutes I looped out on the whoops when the back wheel got grip when I didn’t expect it. After that I started in 13th and rode back to 9th. My feeling was good on track today but had some bad luck the second moto. I’m motivated to go on track again Sunday!”
10th MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Faenza, 22-points
7th MX2 World Championship, 161-points
“I feel positive. I’ve shown a little bit of my potential and my riding, I am happy with. Obviously, the result is not what we are working for. I came through the pack pretty good but passing here is really tough. In the second race I came through really good and had second and third right in front of me, and then at one moment, my head was on the floor and I don’t really know what happened, but it was quite a big crash. I am lucky I was able to get up and I am fine apart from a black-eye and some cuts on my face. I just need to go for a good start next Sunday to make it a little bit easier for myself.”