Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider Jago Geerts finished third in round 2 of the FIM World Championship MX2 in Valkenswaard. The Belgian teenager won the first moto and finished seventh in moto two after an astonishing catch-up race. Teammate Ben Watson finished fifth on the wet and brutal Dutch track.
Valkenswaard was hit by a lot of rain on Sunday, which made the Eurocircuit even more brutal than normal. Geerts had a mediocre start - around 8th place - in the first moto but already gained three places in the first lap. Meanwhile, Vialle led the way, followed by Renaux and Beaton. Geerts didn't want to rush things, had a plan in mind and timed it to perfection. By lap 7 he was already riding in second position, six seconds down on race leader Vialle. The Belgian carefully passed some backmarkers and started to hunt the Frenchman. With only two minutes and two laps to go, Geerts overtook Vialle and won his second race of the season with a 13-second advantage over his French rival. Teammate Ben Watson rode a very consisting race. The Brit started in seventh place, found a good rhythm and finished fifth.
#193 Jago Geerts
"Of course I'm a bit disappointed because that crash in the second race ruined my chances to win the Grand Prix. It was a big crash, my ribs were hurting and I needed almost a minute to recover, to breathe normal again. Once I got going again, there was only one thing on my mind: try to get as most points as possible. I finished seventh, not bad at all, after being almost one lap down. Of course, it's a bit of a shame that I lost the red plate, but the season is still long. Nothing has been lost yet."
#919 Ben Watson
"I had two pretty good starts, which made the job a bit easier on this really heavy track. I had two races without a crash, without major problems, kept a good speed until the end and finished fifth overall. I'm really happy with that result. I missed a lot of bike time during the build-up of the season. I knew I would need a couple of weeks to get into the right rhythm. This weekend was already a lot better than last week. I can build from there. And maybe the most important: I didn't have pain at all in my hand."
"I have mixed feelings after this Grand Prix. Jago was the fastest and could have won. His first moto was perfectly timed. Unfortunately, he crashed at the start of the second moto. His catch up race was really impressive. I was hoping to score maybe one point, but Jago took 14 points! Incredible. I'm also really happy with Watson's fifth place. Ben had a difficult beginning of the season because of the hand injury, which kept him from the bike for a month. Ben can look back on two solid races and is already close to the podium guys. He will get stronger and stronger in the next weeks."
Next race: March 22, GP3 Neuquen, Argentina
Images by @yamahaofficialracing.com - @shotbybavo - CDS