Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Thibault Benistant was exceptional at the MXGP of Germany, round 11 of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The 19-year-old Frenchman celebrated his first-ever Grand Prix win after following a third-place finish in race one up with a dominant start-to-finish victory in race two. The ‘198’ was joined on the podium by his teammate Jago Geerts, who reclaimed the MX2 championship lead with two consistent second-place finishes for second overall. As a result, Yamaha has regained the lead in manufacturers’ standings.
The German Grand Prix got off to a flying start for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s duo of Thibault Benistant and Jago Geerts. Both riders topped the timesheets in the Free and Timed Practice sessions and qualified in the second and third positions, respectively.
Quick off the gate in Race 1, Benistant chased his French compatriot Tom Vialle around turn one as Geerts held a tight line to emerge on the cusp of the top-five.
As Benistant challenged the lead on the opening lap, Geerts made some brave passes on Jan Pancar and Simon Laengenfelder to slot into third.
After taking third, Geerts stalked his teammate for half of the race before launching up the inside of the ‘198’ to wrench away second position. From there, the Belgian pushed the edge as he set fast lap after fast lap to reel in the leader, Vialle.
Going into the final lap, less than 1-second split the duo of MX2 title protagonists. Geerts pushed Vialle to the flag but was narrowly denied victory at the Finish Line. Benistant did not feel overly comfortable and could not challenge the front-runners but was still heads and shoulders better than the rest of the pack.
Race 2 was dominated by Benistant. The young Yamaha ace passed Vialle on turn three and powered his YZ250FM to a phenomenal race win. At the same time, Geerts had the championship in mind. After watching his closest rival (Vialle) withdraw from the race through a technical problem, the Belgian decided against taking any unnecessary risk and opted to settle for second.
After a decent performance at the ‘Talkessel’ circuit, at which he celebrated his 10th podium finish of the season, Geerts reclaimed the MX2 Championship lead, and will now head to the next round of the championship with an 8-point buffer over Vialle. At the same time, Benistant enjoyed his third bottle of podium champagne this season and has jumped to seventh in the standings after missing the first three rounds through injury.
The next round of the series will take place in Samota-Sumbawa, Indonesia, on June 25th and 26th.
MX2 Grand Prix of Germany Winner, 45-points
7th MX2 Championship Standings, 266-points
“My first GP win! I am really happy about this. I was riding really good all weekend, even though the first moto I was a little bit tight. I tried to stay with the guys, but they were going really fast, and I was not feeling really comfortable, so I finished P.3. I started second again in the second moto and tried to push directly. I managed this and took the victory. I really want to thank all the people in the background who we don’t see, but a lot of people are working with me and believe in me, so thanks to all of them.”
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Germany, 44-points
MX2 Championship Leader, 460-points
“I am really happy with two second places today. I was not feeling great on the track all weekend, so the first heat came as a bit of a surprise that I had the speed to win. In the second heat, I didn’t have the best feeling on the track and struggled a little bit, but still managed to take the championship lead again, so overall, it was a positive weekend.”