Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Thibault Benistant showed phenomenal form at the 17th and penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Saint Jean d’Angely, France. The Frenchman finished second overall after a remarkable victory in race one and an impressive second-place finish in race two. He was joined on the podium by Jago Geerts, who secured his 15th podium finish of the season with a 3-7 scorecard for third overall. Geerts maintains a 2-point lead in the championship.
A thrilling start to the MX2 Grand Prix of Charente Maritime saw Benistant storm to an incredible victory in the opening race of the day. In warm and dry conditions, the Frenchman pulled a fabulous holeshot and held off both championship contenders Vialle and Geerts for an emphatic race win – his fourth of the season.
While Benistant’s performance at the front of the field was truly impeccable, the focus remained on the battle for second position between the only two remaining title challengers. Geerts caught the front-runners after starting outside the top five, but despite setting the fastest lap of the race, an opportunity to pass Vialle did not arise, and he had to settle for third.
In race two, Benistant chased Vialle around turn one and fought hard for the lead on the opening two laps. After a couple of brave and spectacular attempts to pass, the ‘198’ eventually relented and settled for second.
Geerts was tasked with a challenging ride through the pack after starting well outside the top five. The ‘93’ moved up to fourth but crashed while pushing the pace around the extremely tight and one-lined circuit. Fortunately, he still salved enough points to maintain the championship leaders red plate – he was seventh.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team will have one weekend off before heading to Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, for the final round.
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Charente Maritime, 47-points
5th MX2 World Championship, 481-points
“If you told me last weekend that I would finish second this weekend, I would not believe you. I am a bit disappointed in one way, because I would have liked to have finished the season strong, but in the end it’s still good to finish second here in France. It was super crazy with the fans, and I really enjoyed my weekend.”
3rd MX2 Grand Prix of Charente Maritime, 34-points
MX2 Championship Leader, 710-points
“It was quite a difficult weekend. I had three average starts, so that made life difficult. My speed was good and I was feeling good all weekend, but just the starts made it tough. I needed to take a lot of risks to make passes because the track was really one-lined and hard to pass. The first heat was okay, but the second heat was not the best. Luckily, I am still in the lead with one round to go. So, I’m ready to lay it all on the line in Turkey and do my best there.”