The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team celebrated a historic final race at the Czech Grand Prix in Loket, with all three riders finishing inside the top-three. The teams’ youngest rider, Thibault Benistant, claimed his second-ever MX2 race victory ahead of teammates Maxime Renaux and Jago Geerts. As a result, the 18-year-old was able to celebrate a maiden MX2 podium finish. Renaux held off a hard-charging Geerts to finish second in Race 2 for second overall, while Geerts finished third in the race for sixth overall.
The Czech Grand Prix got off to a sensational start for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team, with Geerts and Renaux topping the timesheets. Geerts notched the fastest lap, edging Roan van de Moosdijk and Renaux by just over half a second. Benistant qualified ninth.
Carrying the coveted red plate as the series leader, for the first time in his career, Renaux put in an astonishing charge from outside of the top-20 to finish fifth in Race 1. Throughout the race, the Frenchman made a series of remarkable passes, including moves made on his teammates Geerts and Benistant.
Despite his rookie status, Benistant is one of the fastest riders in MX2 this year. The Frenchman has led 32 of the 114 laps raced this year and continued to impress as he blasted from 15th to ninth in race one.
After a mediocre start, Geerts was unable to reach his full potential as he battled a severe case of arm-pump. The Belgian did his best to salvage as many points as possible and ended up finishing 12th.
In contrast to the opening race, all three riders rocketed out of the gate for the final heat to make up the top-five on the exit of turn two. Benistant was awarded the holeshot as Renaux moved quickly to pass Rene Hofer for second position.
Inch perfect from start to finish, Benistant set the fastest lap of the race on his way to another emphatic race victory. It was his second race win this season, and as he is a rookie, it was also the second of his career.
Continuing to focus on the bigger picture, Renaux recovered from a small tip over to finish second position as Geerts made a late-race dash up into third.
After a historic end to the Czech Grand Prix, which saw the full Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 line-up lockout the podium positions in the final MX2 race, the team looks forward to its home Grand Prix which will take place next weekend, August 1st, in Lommel, Belgium.
Renaux continues to lead the MX2 World Championship by 3-points as Geerts moves into the top-five. Benistant’s first podium finish sees the youngster leap up into seventh in the championship classification.
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Czech Overall, 38-points
MX2 Championship Leader, 179-points
“Today was not so bad. The first moto I had to fight hard after a bad start and really had to charge through the field. I finished fifth in that moto, and actually I was really happy with my riding. The second moto was totally different, I got a good start, but made a little mistake and crashed. I still managed to keep second for second overall, and I keep the red plate. That feels really good and I am happy with it. On to the next race.”
3rd MX2 Grand Prix of Czech Overall, 37-points
7th MX2 Championship Standings, 146-points
“The day was good. First moto I didn’t feel so good with my bike and the track, so I took it easy to stay safe and not make any mistakes, but in the second moto was different. I started first and managed to keep it to the end for the win, so I was really happy with everything and I look forward to next weekend.”
6th MX2 Grand Prix of Czech Overall, 29-points
5th MX2 Championship Standings, 140-points
“Today ended pretty good considering my first heat was really difficult. I had a lot of arm-pump, so I couldn’t find my rhythm and just rode around. I ended up finishing 12th. In the second heat, it was much better. I got a better start and by the end of the race, I felt so good and was able to pass three guys to finish third, right behind Maxime. I had good speed and I felt good, so I am looking forward to Lommel next weekend, where I hope I can build on the result of the second heat.”