Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Ben Watson closed the book on an inspiring MX2 career with a thrilling race win and Grand Prix victory. The Brit was joined on the podium by SM Action M.C. Migliori Yamaha Supported Team’s Maxime Renaux who celebrated his ‘third in the world’ ranking from the third step of the podium. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts was already guaranteed the MX2 Championship silver medal going into the 18th and final round of the MX2 World Championship in Pietramurata, Italy today. After finishing fourth in the opening race, the 20-year-old Belgian could not complete the final race of the 2020 season after sustaining a shoulder injury while challenging for the lead in Race 2. Thanks to the efforts of Geerts, Watson and Renaux throughout the 2020 MX2 season, Yamaha took home the Manufacturer’s title for the first time since 2007.
Proving the undeniable power of the YZ250F, all three Yamaha stars launched out of the gate and made up the top-four going around turn one. Renaux confirmed his competitiveness up front as he went bar-to-bar with Geerts for second position, while Watson eased into the race and took his time finding his rhythm.
After using the first 20-minutes to find the fastest lines, Watson caught and passed his teammate, Geerts and went after Renaux. At the flag, less than 1-second separated Watson and Renaux in the battle for second.
Renaux finished second, while Watson finished third, 4-seconds clear of Geerts in fourth.
In the final race of the 2020 season, Watson got his YZ250FM off to a dynamite start. The 23-year-old, who will make the jump up to the premier class next year having reached the age limit in MX2, could not have dreamt of a better end to his career. He led every lap to secure his third race win, and second-ever overall victory.
After an incredible battle for the lead, Geerts fell while challenging his teammate for the race and Grand Prix win. Unfortunately, the young Belgian sustained a fractured left shoulder in the accident and could not finish.
Capitalizing on Geerts’ error, Renaux had a great start and gained one more position to finish fourth in the final outing.
Geerts and Renaux made up the top three in the final MX2 World Championship Classification, while Watson rounded out the top-five. Between the three riders in 2020, Yamaha celebrated 22 podium finishes, 17 race wins and nine Grand Prix victories to win the title of best manufacturer.
MX2 Grand Prix of Garda-Trentino Winner, 45-points
5th MX2 World Championship Classification, 551-points
“I still can’t believe it. I want to say I didn’t expect it, but I kind of did because I knew I could do it, but sometimes even when you know you can do it, things don’t work out, but this time it did and it is just really incredible. In the second race I got off to a really good start, I came around the first turn in the lead and I just put my head down and tried to control it to the end. What a way to end my MX2 career. I just want to say how grateful I am to Yamaha and my team at Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 and the three-years I was there, everything they put in, I am really thankful.”
3rd MX2 Grand Prix of Garda-Trentino, 40 points
3rd MX2 World Championship Classification, 581-points
“It was a great season for me and the team. We made a lot of progress since last year. I got my first overall in Faenza, Italy, and that was my first really big achievement. This year it was my goal to be as consistent as possible to fight for the championship, and this year I managed to do that. It’s really good for the team, and also for me. The main goal was to be on the podium overall, and we managed to do it.”
12th MX2 Grand Prix of Garda-Trentino, 18-points
2nd MX2 World Championship Classification, 679-points
“I’m really disappointed to end my season with an injury, but it’s racing and things like this can happen. Now, I will take some rest and focus on my recovery before starting my winter training and testing for the 2021 season. Although we wanted to win the championship this year, second overall is not so bad after some bad luck and crashes. I want to congratulate my teammate Ben on his GP win and wish him the best for his move up to the MXGP class. Next year we hope to come back stronger and fight for the gold plate again.”