|The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team achieved its ultimate goal at the Grand Prix of Pietramurata with Jago Geerts and Ben Watson celebrating the 17th and penultimate round of the FIM MX2 World Championship from the top two steps of the podium. As a result, Geerts has secured the silver medal in the 2020 FIM MX2 World Championship. SM Action M.C. Migliori Yamaha’s Maxime Renaux was classified fourth overall, while Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250’s Thibault Benistant rounded out the top-five.
In the opening race, Geerts had a fantastic start and the early advantage going into turn-one but was bumped out of his line by the newly crowned MX2 World Champion, Tom Vialle. The ‘193’ was quickly shuffled back to sixth position by his future teammates Maxime Renaux and Thibault Benistant and ended up sliding-out one lap later.
Geerts restarted his charge in 12th position – two positions behind Watson in 10th. Although the tight and compact Pietramurata circuit was difficult to pass on, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 duo impressed as they powered their YZ250FMs through the field. After 15-minutes, both riders had caught SM Action M.C Migliori’s Renaux and Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250’s Benistant and were ready to battle for third.
The action was intense as the four Yamaha riders rode wheel to wheel until Benistant crashed with 3-laps remaining. Renaux managed to hold onto third, while Watson and Geerts made up the top five – in that order. Benistant recovered for seventh.
An explosive start to the final race saw Geerts and Watson rocket out of the gate. Geerts led his teammate around turn-one and led every lap from start to finish for his 14th race win of the season.
Watson kept his teammate honest for the 30-minute duration of the race and at times looked threatening but, in the end, had to settle for second at the flag. He fell 1-point short of his second Grand Prix victory but was still happy to celebrate his fifth piece of podium silverware with his teammate, Geerts, who was excited to mount the top-step of the box for the sixth time this season, and in his career.
In just his third-ever Grand Prix, Benistant put in another scintillating performance to finish the race inside the top-three, one position clear of his French compatriot, Renaux, who rounded out the top-five.
Geerts and Watson’s success marks a first-ever 1-2 victory for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team. It is also the first 1-2 success for Yamaha in MX2 since Davide Guarneri and Manuel Monni in 2008.
Going into the final round of the MX2 World Championship which will take place here in Pietramurata, Italy, on Sunday 8th November, Geerts has locked up second position in the MX2 Championship Standings and cannot be caught. Renaux is currently third and holds a 13-point advantage over fourth, while Watson is sixth, 11-points shy of a place inside the top-five.
MX2 Grand Prix of Pietramurata Winner, 41-points
2nd MX2 World Championship, 661-points
“The first heat I had to come from outside of the top-10 after making a small mistake on the opening lap but my riding felt good although it was pretty difficult to pass so I finished fifth. In the second heat, I took the holeshot and I am really happy for that. Ben chased me for the whole moto but in the end, I could win so I am really happy with the day and to take my sixth victory of the season.”
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Pietramurata, 40-points
6th MX2 World Championship, 506-points
“I really want to congratulate the whole team. They work really hard and it’s really nice for me and Jago to give them a 1-2 on the podium. It is a little bit difficult to pass out there, but I have been feeling really good on the bike. I had a mediocre start in the first race, but I came through good and then in the second one, I took a good start and it’s always a nice race when you can battle with your teammate up front. I finished second, but I am really happy with second overall.”