Benistant Inches Closer to EMX250 Top-5 as Elzinga Nears Top-10
The fifth round of the EMX250 Championship coincided with the MXGP of Latvia at the fast and bumpy, shallow sand circuit of Kegums. MJC Yamaha's Thibault Benistant and SDM Corse Yamaha EMX250's trio of Rick Elzinga, Caleb Grothues and Gianluca Facchetti did their best to overcome adversity and salvage valuable championship points.
The Latvian round of the EMX250 Championship was challenging. Benistant put in a sensational ride to finish fifth in the opening race but was demoted to tenth after he received a 5-position penalty for failing the post-race sound check. Elzinga was then promoted to ninth position after a stunning charge through the pack after a 18th place start.
Grothues chased a place inside the top-ten but was landed on by an out of control rider on Lap-5 and could not finish the race, while Facchetti was unable to maintain his lightening quick lap-times for the entire duration of the race due to an injury he received during training only days prior.
The second race offered the GYTR kitted YZ250F riders a chance to redeem themselves. After a lucky save through the wave section during the sighting lap, Benistant eased off the pace and rode smooth for eight position, while Grothues was able to recover lost points with an impressive tenth place.
Elzinga narrowly missed the carnage at turn-one that involved his teammate Facchetti. The Dutchman fought hard for 19th place, while Facchetti retired from the race with four-laps as he experienced an extreme stiffness in his back.
Benistant has retained sixth position in the EMX250 Championship Standings after finishing ninth overall in Kegums. He now trails fifth position by 2-points.
Elzinga and Grothues were 15th and 16threspectively. Elzinga is 2-points shy of the top-ten in the Championship Standings. He is 11th, while Grothues is 15th.
Three rounds remain in the 2019 EMX250 Championship with the next round taking place in five days' time at German Grand Prix in Teutschenthal.