Renaux Narrowly Misses the Podium as Geerts & Watson Look to Bounce Back at the Grand Prix of Europe. The second of three consecutive events in Mantova, Italy, this week saw SM Action M.C. Migliori’s Maxime Renaux narrowly miss the podium at the MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Mantova – round 10 of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Renaux was classified fourth overall while Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 duo of Jago Geerts and Ben Watson fought back from crashes to finish seventh and ninth.
A top-three start in Race 1 put Geerts in the perfect position to capitalize on a mistake from the early race leader Isaak Gifting. The ‘193’ took charge before the end of the opening lap and led for two laps before losing the front on a 180-degree right-hander.
Taking a calmer approach to the race, Renaux was able to slot his YZ250F promptly into the lead. The ‘959’, in special yellow livery for his team’s home Grand Prix, was inch-perfect for all but one lap. That lap was the final and most crucial one and it cost him a win after he came up short on a triple jump and missed his line. Thomas Olsen was able to cash-in on the Frenchman’s error and put in a flying final lap to steal the victory.
Renaux had to settle for second, while Watson proved he can still be competitive without a clean start. The tall Brit started outside of the top-10 and consistently pushed forward to finish fourth. Two more mistakes from Geerts left the Belgian eighth at the flag.
A dramatic final race saw all three Yamaha stars fight from outside of the top-10. Despite starting his Città di Mantova Grand Prix campaign with a crash ridden opening race, Geerts managed to make amends with a superb charge through the pack to challenge the lead. The ‘193’ put the pressure on Vialle but had his front-wheel taken out while trying to make a pass. Geerts crashed in the incident but managed to remount in time to salvage fifth.
A good start was the name of the game, with the tight and compact Mantova circuit proving challenging to pass on. After a fantastic ride for second position in the opening race, Renaux could only recover for seventh after a poor start in the final outing. Renaux and Watson fell foul to the carnage that frequently occurs at turn-one. Both riders came back strong, particularly Renaux, who fought back to finish seventh. Watson fell again while looking for unique opportunities to pass and eventually crossed the line in 13th, but both riders were docked two positions for jumping on waved yellow flags.
At the end of a hard-fought, action-packed day in the sand, Geerts has retained second position in the MX2 World Championship Standings, 56-points clear of Renaux in third. Watson is now seventh.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place here in Mantova in three-days’ time on Sunday 4th October.
For full results from the MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Mantova, click here.
4th MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Mantova , 34-points
3rd MX2 World Championship Standings , 329-points
“The day was not so bad, in the first race I started pretty good and then took the lead and led the whole race but made a mistake with a lapped rider that had crashed which allowed Olsen to pass me. I finished second, which was still a good race. In the second race I crashed at turn one but came all the way back to seventh which is really good because this track is really difficult to pass on. Unfortunately, I received a two position penalty for jumping on a yellow flag that I did not see, along with 10 other riders, which is unfortunate, but I still finished fourth. That is pretty good when you take into consideration the crash in the second race and the penalty.”
MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Mantova , 29-points
2nd MX2 World Championship Standings , 385-points
“It was a difficult day. The first heat I took the holeshot, I was feeling pretty good but then I had two small crashes and I finished eighth. In the second race I didn’t get a really good start but my riding was really good and I came back to second. I was closing in on Vialle and I think with three laps to go I wanted to pass him, and then he cut me off on the start line and I crashed. I think I started again in fifth and finished fifth. It was a difficult day today, but Sunday will be a new day and a new chance.”
MX2 Grand Prix of Città di Mantova , 24-points
7th MX2 World Championship Standings , 252-points
“On paper today was not great, but I just need to stay positive and look at the riding. Obviously, this season I have had a lot of no points scoring races. For me the championship is not on my mind, I just want to show myself and be fighting at the top. I am really happy with my riding and with my bike and how I am feeling.”