Geerts starts his title chase on the box
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rider Jago Geerts started his 2022 campaign with a third place in the Grand Prix of Great Britain, in Matterley Basin. Andrea Bonacorsi, the replacement for Thibault Benistant, was ruled out of the GP after a big crash in time practice, on Saturday.
Just a week ago, storm Eunice had left a trail of destruction in Great Britain. Also in Matterley Basin. Uprooted trees, team tents that were ripped from the trucks, billboards flying around... Infront, promoter of the FIM World Championship, therefore had no choice but to postpone the Grand Prix for a week. The calm had been restored to the south of Great Britain this weekend. Instead of strong wind gusts and torrential rain, the sun actually peeped through.
The circuit was in perfect condition. Andrea Bonacorsi, the replacement for the revalidating Thibault Benistant, couldn't enjoy it that much. The 18-year-old Italian - who made his debut in the World Championship - suffered a big crash in time practice and had to be taken to hospital. Fortunately, the damage turned out to be not too bad. No internal bleeding and no vital organs hit. Bonacorsi was allowed to leave the hospital on Saturday evening, but was ruled out for the rest of the Grand Prix. The Italian teenager can now focus on the EMX250, which starts next weekend in Mantova.
Jago Geerts, who was third in the qualifying race on Saturday, couldn't convert his decent starting position into a great start in the first race. The Belgian was only eighth in the first turn and had some work to do. After two laps Jago had already moved up to fifth place, but then he made a mistake in the treacherous turn just before the start strip. Geerts went down and had to resume in ninth place. He quickly passed Haarup and got two places for free when Gifting and Horgmo crashed. It brought the spark back in his race. Geerts was on fire now and started to charge at his opponents in the final stage of the race. After a great move on van de Moosdijk - he literally jumped over the Dutchman - and a well prepared last lap pass on Rubini, Geerts managed to finish in fourth place. A nice recovery after that early crash.
Geerts got off to a better start on his YZ250FM in the second heat. The Belgian was right behind Längenfelder, Vialle and Horgmo. Geerts needed four laps to pass the Norwegian for third place. Meanwhile, the two leaders had created a small gap, but Jago closed it fairly quickly. A brilliant three-way battle ensued at the front, until the last lap. Vialle crumbled under the pressure, went down and got passed by Geerts. The vice world champion now went for Längenfelder, but stranded in his rear wheel. No race win, but immediately on the box in the first Grand Prix of the season. A boost for the Belgian, who had two minor surgeries on his left arm recently.
#93 Jago Geerts
Third place in Grand Prix
"A podium finish in the first Grand Prix is always a good result. Especially, after having two, although minor surgeries on my left arm the past two weeks. I couldn't ride my bike in the run-up to this Grand Prix. Not ideal, of course. Although, I have to admit that I didn't experience any problems with my arm today. I'm pleased that I didn't lose my speed. I'm also really happy with my physical shape. I was very strong at the end in both races. On the other hand, my starts and my first laps were a bit disappointing. I was maybe a little too careful, so those are working points."
#35 Andrea Bonacorsi
Did not start - injury
"This was for sure not the world championship debut I had in mind. There were a lot of bumps past pitlane. My bike swerved, to the left, to the right. I couldn't hold it anymore. I went down hard and was hit by the bike. The impact was huge, especially on my stomach. Because I was in pain, the doctors immediately had me transferred to the hospital. After examinations, it turned out that there was not a lot of damage. A big relief, although my GP debut went up in smoke. Well, I'm still young, I will get some new opportunities later."
1.1. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas)
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:04.402
3. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) +0:05.020
4. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:10.001
5. Stephen Rubini (Fra/Hon) +0:11.543
1. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas)
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:02.015
3. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:14.914
4. Roan van de Moosdijk (Ned/Hus) +0:24.987
5. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) +0:30.252
Overall and championship classification
1. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) 50
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 42
3. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 40
4. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) 36
5. Roan van de Moosdijk (Ned/Hus) 33
Next race: March 6, GP2 Mantova (Ita)