Geerts Celebrates Second Consecutive Grand Prix Win as Benistant Bags Podium Finish in Sardinia
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts celebrated an emphatic win at the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Riola-Sardo, Sardinia, extending his MX2 Championship lead out to 30-points. He was joined on the podium by talented teammate Thibault Benistant, who ascended the third step, continuing the teams’ streak of double podium finishes.
The Grand Prix of Sardinia got off to an electrifying start, with Geerts bouncing back from two costly errors to finish second behind the eventual winner, Kay de Wolf. Despite leading the race after an impressive holeshot, the Belgian fell on the second lap, losing 9-seconds and two positions. He quickly remounted his YZ250FM and charged hard, eventually reclaiming the lead before stalling his engine on the same lap. Desperate to bounce back from another mistake and more time lost, the ‘93’ continued pushing hard. He re-passed Simon Laengenfelder and eventually caught back up to de Wolf but could not demote the Flying Dutchman on the final lap and had to settle for second place.
At the same time, Benistant showcased his exceptional sand riding skills, grit and determination as he fought back from a mid-pack start to finish fourth.
Showing the makings of a true and deserving champion, Geerts got off to a solid start in Race Two and made some quick passes to take the lead before the end of the opening lap. Once in the top spot, he controlled the race, running a superior pace to eventually win by a narrow 1.314 second margin over de Wolf. The triumph adds to his impressive career statistics, serving as his 45th podium finish, 35th race win and 18th Grand Prix victory.
Benistant got off to a much better start in the second and final race, chasing Race One’s top two finishers, Geerts and de Wolf, on the opening lap. Despite trying to keep the two sand stars in check, the ‘198’ eventually settled for a hard-fought third, which was enough for third overall.
Rick Elzinga was forced to sit out the MXGP of Sardinia this weekend after falling ill after Timed Practice. The talented Dutchman struggled with hydration, leaving him unable to compete at his best. Despite his disappointment, the ‘44’ made the difficult decision to opt out of the event in order to focus on his health and recover to 100% for the next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship that will take place in Frauenfeld, Switzerland, on April 8th and 10th.
MX2 Grand Prix of Sardinia Winner, 47-points
MX2 Championship Leader, 117-points
“I’m really happy with today, minus the two small mistakes I made in the first heat. Still, I came back from them to almost win the moto, so I was happy with my speed. In the second race, they did a lot of maintenance on the track, so it was quite fast. I still found my pace on the opening lap, going from fourth to first, and then just pushed hard the whole moto to take the win. I am really happy with how the first two GP’s have gone and how everything is going so far.”
3rd MX2 Grand Prix of Sardinia, 38-points
3rd MX2 Championship Standings, 86-points
“A podium is a podium, it’s always good to be here. I have to be happy because, honestly, this weekend was not easy. I struggled a bit in the first half of the motos to get into the ‘sand rhythm’, I think my body position was a bit too much ‘hard-pack style’ so I struggled quite a lot with the back of the bike moving. In the second moto, I found my rhythm much faster and managed to finish third. Two podiums in the first two rounds is not too bad. I will take it and try to make it better in Switzerland.”
Not Classified MX2 Grand Prix of Sardinia, 0-points
12th MX2 Championship Standings, 34-points
“I felt something was not right after Timed Practice, and it turned out to be a small health problem that meant that I can’t keep fluids inside me, so I have the symptoms of dehydration, like dizziness and blurry vision. On a track that is as demanding as Riola, it was not possible to ride here, and anyway, I am not here to ride around at the back of the pack. From here, the focus is to get better and bounce back strong in Switzerland.”