Great response from Geerts
Following a five-month break, the FIM World Championship MX2 made its return at Kegums, Latvia. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rider Jago Geerts crashed twice in the first race, but replied with a moto victory. He finished six overall, one place behind his teammate Ben Watson, who rode two solid moto's.
#193 Jago Geerts wins the second race. Image by @shotbybavo
The FIM World Championship kicked off again at the Zelta Zirgs circuit in Kegums, for the first of three Grand Prix in Latvia in eight days time. The track, sandy but hard underneath, was firmer, trickier and edgier than previous years, which resulted in a lot of mistakes. Watson was sixth in time practice, while Geerts was eighth. Not great, neither bad.
Geerts powered his YZ250FM into second position in the start of the first race, right behind championship leader Vialle. The Belgian quickly had problems with his roll-off and had a small crash in the second lap, which put him back in ninth place. Four laps later Geerts crashed again, a huge one this time. Even in pain, the youngster didn't want to give up, picked up his bike again and had to fight back from 22nd position. With a lot of perseverance Geerts managed to finish 16th. Meanwhile, Watson rode a solid first race. The Brit started just inside the top ten, but lacked some aggressiveness in the first laps. Once found, Watson could move up to sixth place.
Battered & Bruised
Geerts, who was battered and bruised after his crashes in the first race, took another great start in the second race. The Belgian was third in the 180 degree first turn, behind Vialle and Boisramé. The Belgian, angry with himself after the mistakes in the first race, endured the pain and switched on his attacking modus. First victim: Boisramé, in lap three. Next up: Vialle, only three laps later. The French rider made Geerts work for his money. Vialle was breathing down the Belgian's neck until the finish line. He even passed Geerts in the last lap, but the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider replied immediately with a great move. Race victory! Ben Watson's second race was almost similar to his first one. The Brit started in seventh position, was rock solid again and gained two more places to finish fifth. He was also fifth overall and moved up to fifth place in the world championship standings. Geerts remains second, 22 points less than leader Vialle. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 riders don't have a lot of time to recover from this Grand Prix, as they will race again on Wednesday for part two of the Latvian triple header.
#919 Ben Watson rode two solid races. Image by @shotbybravo
#193 Jago Geerts
"My roll-off was broken after half a lap. I wanted to pass Vialle quickly, to have a better view. Unfortunately, I lost the front and went down. I had to continue without goggles. I got sand in my eyes, didn't see a deep rut and had a really big crash. Luckily, nothing is broken. I was really pissed after that first race. I was battered and bruised, but there was only one thing on my mind: win the second race. And I did. Good for my confidence. Next plan: get some points back on Vialle on Wednesday."
#919 Ben Watson
"I'm quite satisfied with my fifth place. It's a solid start, something to build on. I know where I need to improve. I wasn't aggressive enough in the beginning of the first race, there wasn't enough intensity. And of course I have to work on my the start. They let me down a little bit today. That made my day a lot more difficult. The start is everything, it determines the rest of the race. The riding itself was pretty good and consisting. But if I want to get on the podium again, I really need to have better starts."
"Geerts second crash was a big one. I didn't expect him to take points after that big hit, but he still did. Impressive. The impact of the crash on his body was huge. He was in pain, but his response in the second race was even more impressive. I'm really proud of him. Okay, he lost some points, but the championship is far from over." "Watson rode two decent races. He rode very smart, didn't want to make mistakes. Sixth and fifth are the maximum for Ben today. He's is now fifth in the championship. Good job."
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM)
2. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) +0:06.879
3. Ruben Fernandez (Spa/Yam) +0:13.493
4. Mathys Boisramé (Fra/Kaw) +0:19.006
5. Rene Hofer (Aut/KTM) +0:21.761
6. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:24.001
16. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +1:15.706
1. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM)
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:04.270
3. Mathys Boisramé (Fra/Kaw) +0:07.537
4. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) +0:10.503
5. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:12.790
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 47
2. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) 40
3. Mathys Boisramé (Fra/Kaw) 38
4. Ruben Fernandez (Spa/Yam) 34
5. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 31
6. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) 30
World Championship Classification
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 134
2. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) 112
3. Jed Beaton (Aus/Hus) 95
4. Maxime Renaux (Fra/Yam) 86
5. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 79
Next race: August 12, GP4 Kegums, Latvia