Golden Geerts Goes Unbeaten at MX2 Season Opener with Benistant Taking Third & Elzinga Fifth
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team enjoyed an impeccable start to the season at the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Villa La Angostura, Argentina. Jago Geerts went unbeaten all weekend to start his 2023 MX2 title charge with maximum points and was joined on the podium by Thibault Benistant, who went 2-8 for third overall. Rick Elzinga also made an incredible MX2 season debut going 7-4 for fifth overall.
Using Pole Position to his advantage, Geerts powered his YZ250FM to a flying start in the opening race but was nudged back to second position by Benistant on lap-2.
After making a carefully calculated pass for the lead, Benistant’s hard work came unstuck when he collided with a slower rider that was one lap down. For Benistant, the incident was unlucky, but for Geerts, it was a gift. The ‘93’ took the lead and went on to win the opening race of the season.
Benistant bounced back from the lap-8 crash and treated the thousands of Argentine fans to a thrilling display of raw speed and talent as he whittled down the 4-second lead Geerts enjoyed. The ‘198’ got close enough to fight for the win but ultimately crashed out of the battle with half of a lap remaining. Fortunately, he still finished second.
As for the rookie, Elzinga, the young Dutchman impressed with his come-back through the pack after losing all traction on the metal starting mesh. Consequently, the ‘44’ was one of the last riders off the gate but still fought back to an impressive seventh-place finish.
In the second and final race of the Grand Prix, Geerts picked up right where he left off at the front of the field. The 22-year-old Belgian got off to another rip-roaring start and impressed with a dominant race win – extending his career win tally to 34.
In contrast to the opening race, Elzinga got off to a fantastic start and ran the pace of the front runners for the entire 30-minute and two-lap race duration. The young Dutchman went bar-to-bar with Andrea Adamo and Kevin Horgmo for second position but ended up fourth with much less experience in the category. Still, a phenomenal performance from the reigning EMX250 Champion in his MX2 season debut!
At the same time, Benistant had to fight back from a mediocre start and had another heavy fall. The ‘198’ managed to make a tough remount and salvaged eighth position, enough to join Geerts on the podium.
After an inch-perfect Grand Prix win, Geerts leaves Argentina as the MX2 Championship leader with a perfect score of 60 points. Benistant leaves in third position after finishing third in the Grand Prix.
Elzinga started his debut season with a career best top-five finish in the Grand Prix Classification but sits seventh in the Championship Classification after adding Qualifying Race points.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in Riola-Sardo, Sardinia, on the 25 – 26 March.
For full results from the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina, click here.
MX2 Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina winner, 50-points
MX2 Championship Leader, 60-points
“It feels really good to win the three motos this weekend. I didn’t expect it at all. I just felt really good on the track and just rode solid all weekend. Three good starts, and consistently good laps, there is not much to say. It was awesome, and I’m happy to start my season like this.”
3rd MX2 Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, 35-points
3rd MX2 Championship, 41-points
“It’s already a good start to the season considering I was not even on the gate at round one over the past two years, so it was nice to line up this weekend better prepared. I am happy with the result, there are some things to work on, but we will keep pushing and keep training to be consistently up front.”
5th MX2 Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, 32-points
7th MX2 Championship, 33-points
“I would say I had a good MX2 debut. It’s nice. I think it’s a strong base for my MX2 career. I still have to get used to racing at this level a little bit, but I think if I keep starting up front, this will be the best way to learn. My riding overall, was really good and I scored a personal best result, so this is something I am proud of.”