Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Maxime Renaux dominated the MX2 Grand Prix of Latvia with a double race win – the first of his career – to extend his championship lead out to 34-points. Jago Geerts mounted the second step of the podium and moved up to third in the championship standings, while Thibault Benistant put all three YZ250FMs inside the top-five with a fifth overall. As a result, Yamaha has strengthened its Manufacturers’s Title defense.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 trio continued their flying form at the Zelta Zirgs circuit in Latvia for the seventh round of the MX2 World Championship. Renaux set the second-fastest time in qualifying edging Benistant by 0.172, while Geerts qualified 1 second off the pace in eighth.
Riding a wave of confidence with a splash of red on his YZ250FM as the series leader, Renaux was untouchable in the opening race of the Latvian Grand Prix. The Frenchman started inside the top five and wasted no time charging to the front of the field.
As Renaux stormed to a convincing race victory, Geerts was able to secure third after passing the poleman Jed Beaton with 10-minutes left on the clock.
Continuing to impress in his debut season, Benistant made countless spectacular passes on his charge from outside of the top-10. The Frenchman had a rock irritate an old clavicle injury, but managed to push on and finish fifth.
Renaux and Geerts are both riders that are renowned for their incredible ability to ride in sand. Both Yamaha Factory riders were on the top-two steps of the podium in sea-deep sand of Belgium one week ago and could replicate those results again in the shallower sand of Latvia today.
Renaux’s race was almost a carbon copy of race one in the second and final race of the day. The talented 21-year-old powered his YZ250FM to a top-three start and stalked his closest championship rival Mattia Guadagnini for six laps before making a pass for the lead. As Renaux put on a masterclass performance to secure his fourth-ever race win and take his first double race victory, Geerts made a brilliant pass on Guadagnini to steal second position with three laps remaining.
Like race one, Benistant was again the thick of a mid-pack battle as he had to fight through the pain barrier to finish seventh for fifth overall.
With its 2021 MX2 World Championship campaign going exactly to plan, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team has accumulated 10 pieces of podium silverware over the past seven Grands Prix, and all three riders are currently inside the top five in the championship standings.
After four consecutive rounds of racing, the team can now enjoy a hard-earned three-week break before the series resumes on September 5th in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey.
MX2 Grand Prix of Latvia winner, 50-points
MX2 Championship Leader, 271-points
“It was a great day. It feels really good to get a double moto win, especially as I had to make some passes in both motos without having the best starts. I was quick to find my rhythm today, especially at the start of the race and made some great passes. As soon as I got the lead, I was able to pull away a little bit and control it from there. I couldn’t be happier. I got the first double victory of my career. We have a few weeks to rest now, so I will enjoy this and take it easy before we start building back up for the second half of the season.”
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Latvia, 42-points
3rd MX2 Championship Standings, 235-points
“I had a pretty good day. In the first race I was happy with my start, I was fourth and able to move up to third in the first laps. I felt my pace was good, even though I wasn’t that comfortable on the track today. I got another decent start in the second race and felt much better out on the track, so I was able to catch the leaders. I wanted to get Maxime, but I ran out of time, so I had to be happy with second, but still, it’s good points for the championship and I am happy with it.”
5th MX2 Grand Prix of Latvia, 30-points
5th MX2 Championship Standings, 204-points
“The day started really good. I almost got pole position, but I made a small mistake on my fast lap, so even with the mistake, I was still third. I was feeling good and happy with my riding, but I was a little bit unlucky to take a big stone to the collarbone that I broke during the winter. It was quite painful, and in the second moto I struggled with the pain and a bad start.”