No first world title for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rider, Jago Geerts. After a dramatic final moto, the Belgian had to settle with silver again. Yamaha though won the world title for manufacturers again.
Geerts travelled to Afyonkarihasar, in Turkey with a two points lead on his contender Vialle. So, it was all or nothing in the last GP of the 2022 season. Geerts started his weekend with a second place in the qualifying race, including the fastest lap.
In the first moto the Belgian rider did not manage to take advantage of his good position at the gate. While his biggest contender Vialle grabbed the holeshot, Jago was only sixth in the first turn. His teammate Benistant was even a bit further away. In the beginning, Geerts rode very aggressive. In the fourth lap he was already in P2 after some nice moves to pass first Längenfelder and later also de Wolf. Next on the list: Vialle, who was 4 seconds ahead. Initially, Geerts had some problems to close the gap. Just when he had found the good pace - in lap 10 - he made a mistake. De Wolf managed to pass him again but not for long. The gap with Vialle however was too big. Benistant was riding in P6 for a long time but after a crash in the final part of the race he dropped back to P10.
In the second moto, Geerts, who was now one point behind Vialle in the championship classification, came out of the gate like a rocket. Holeshot. Something he absolutely needed. But Vialle didn't wait either. The Frenchman entered the battlefield in fourth, and after one lap he was already at the rear wheel of Geerts. A bit later Vialle managed to surprise Jago on the inside. Jago kept fighting, sought and found good lines and started several attacks. Vialle came under more and more pressure and cracked. The Frenchman crashed, but... Geerts was so close that he could not avoid him and also crashed.
Unfortunately, bad luck never comes alone: Vialle was able to get on his bike much faster and so he was lucky to gain five seconds. A lot on this fast Turkish track. Jago, however, did not give up and continued full throttle. He came closer, but he couldn't close the gap completely. Gone world title, due to a stupid crash that was not even his fault. A dramatic end to a super exciting season. Benistant, who was third after the start, crossed the finish line in fourth.
With a second and fifth place in the World Championship, seven GP victories and 22 podium places, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team can look back on a very good season. Enough also for the world title for manufacturers, for the third year in a row. Only the icing on the cake is missing...
#93 Jago Geerts
2nd overall - 2nd in championship "This is a hammer blow. Especially the way I lose the title hurts a lot. I felt good in the second moto, I made several attacks on Vialle. At the umpteenth attempt, he crashed right in front of me. I couldn’t avoid him, hit his wheel and was thrown over my bike. One big difference: he managed to get back on his bike much faster. I did everything I could, but I couldn’t close the gap anymore. Second again. The third time in a row. This one hurts the most. In the last moto of the season after again bad luck. It will take me some time to get over this."
#198 Thibault Benistant
6th overall - 5th in championship "A weekend with ups and downs. On Saturday I felt great in the qualifying race. In the first race however, I had a bad start. I overstretched my already injured shoulder and was forced to ride with pain. Not easy. During the week I had worked well with the Yamaha physio. We did everything possible. Luckily the second moto was a bit better after a solid start. Now I will take time to let my shoulder heal so I can come back stronger than ever next season."
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM)
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:09.421
3. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) +0:18.248
4. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Hus) +0:27.607
5. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) +0:32.656
10. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +1:07.546
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM)
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:06.022
3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Hus) +0:23.505
4. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +0:26.610
5. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) +0:27.812
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 50
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 44
3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Hus) 38
4. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) 35
5. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) 32
6. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 29
Championship classification (18/18)
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 758
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 754
3. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) 596
4. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) 527
5. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 510