Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts celebrated an emphatic Grand Prix win on home soil at the MX2 Grand Prix of Flanders in Lommel, Belgium. The Belgian was joined on the podium by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 teammate Maxime Renaux who extended his MX2 Championship lead to 26-points over Mattia Gaudagnini. At the same time, Thibault Benistant was the third Yamaha YZ250FM rider to finish inside the top-four. He was fourth overall.
The Belgium-based Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team celebrated a memorable home Grand Prix at the sixth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, which was successful from start to finish. Geerts and Renaux were quick to set the tone in Timed Practice. Both riders were less than 1-second off Pole Position, with Geerts posting a 2:02.091 for second position, as Renaux went 2:02.378 for third. ‘The rookie’ Thibault Benistant also proved he had the speed, posting a 2:02.938 for seventh.
In the opening race of the day, Geerts and Renaux were a clear-cut level above the rest. Renaux led Geerts around turn-one and was the fastest man on track for the first 25-minutes. Geerts stalked his teammate for the first 11-laps before Renaux was thrown off his race line by a slower rider that was a lap down and crashed.
Geerts inherited the lead and confirmed his incredible ability to ride rough sand with a convincing race win – his third of the season. Renaux remounted his YZ250FM after the fall and managed to hold onto second place.
Benistant had to power his way through the pack after a racing incident at turn-one severed his front brake line. Still, the young Frenchman’s performance was astonishing as he managed to finish bar-to-bar with the defending champion, Tom Vialle. Unfortunately, despite a photo-finish for fourth, Vialle took the position by a single tyre knob, forcing Benistant to settle for fifth.
As heavy rainfall soaked the already treacherous sand circuit, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 trio remained fully focused. All three riders rocketed out of the gate for the final race of the weekend to make up the top-four upon completion of lap-1.
Geerts remained unchallenged in second position from start to finish, as Renaux blasted up the inside of Benistant to take over third on lap-6. From there, all three riders controlled the race and managed to make up the top four at the flag.
After a brilliant Belgian Grand Prix, Geerts has re-established himself as a title contender as the second rider season to win two Grands Prix this season. His victory has also seen him move within 2-points of second position in the MX2 Championship chase. As a result, Yamaha has also extended its lead at the top of the Manufacturers’s Standings.
Renaux now guards a 26-point lead and will carry the championship leaders’ red plate into the seventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship that will take place next weekend, August 8th, in Kegums, Latvia.
MX2 Grand Prix of Flanders winner, 47-points
4th MX2 World Championship Standings, 193-points
“I am really happy with the day. I’ve finally managed to win the GP here in Lommel after four or five attempts. I feel like I’m back, like as you can see, in the last few laps, I was riding faster and faster. I would say I am almost back to 100%, so I am excited and ready for the next races.”
3rd MX2 Grand Prix of Flanders, 41-points
MX2 World Championship Leader, 221-points
“I am pretty happy. We all know that Lommel is one of the toughest tracks, and I survived it. The most important thing was to take good points for the championship and to keep the red plate, and I managed to do that. I am a little bit disappointed with the crash in the first moto with a lapped rider, but it is what it is. I am happy with the result in the end, and I am also happy for the team and to keep the red plate with the Yamaha crew.”
6th MX2 Grand Prix of Flanders, 34-points points
MX2 World Championship Standings, 164-points
“My day was quite good overall because I finished fourth with 34-points. This is only 1-point less than my best ever finish this year, with my best weekend being 35-points. When you look at it like this, it is quite good. I had a bit of bad luck in the first race. Another rider hit my lever and I had no front brake for the whole race, but in the end of the race I was feeling really good and was one of the fastest guys on track at the end of the moto. In the second race, the feeling was not there, so I did not want to go over the limit and make a mistake for nothing; fourth overall in Lommel is not a bad result.”