Geerts Lights Up Latvia with Awe-Inspiring Podium Finish
Quickly getting to grips with the premier 250cc class, Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's 18-year-old rookie sensation put in a hair-raising performance in both races at the Latvian Grand Prix, round seven of the FIM MX2 World Championship, to stand on the second step of the podium for the first time in his career. The talented youngster handed the Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team their second consecutive piece of silverware, after Ben Watson's third-place at the Russian Grand Prix, and has moved up four positions in the championship chase, to seventh. Watson was fifth overall this weekend and maintains fourth in the championship classification.
Hot and sunny conditions played host to the Latvian Grand Prix, round seven of the FIM MX2 World Championship in Kegums, where 31 of the fastest MX2 riders in the world were faced with a very rough and technical firm-based sand track.
As a rider that is renowned for his incredible ability in the sand, Geerts wasted no time in powering his YZ250F forward from outside the top-10 and up into sixth place on the opening two laps of Race 1. The young Belgian was masterful beyond his years and experience in the MX2 class as he made a series of brilliant passes to move into fourth place - a position he held from lap 10 to the checkered flag.
Watson was in the thick of a battle for eighth on the opening lap of the race and while other riders threw caution to the wind to gain positions, the Briton bid his time and looked for lines that would work for him without costing extra energy or risk. Sure enough, his competitors made mistakes and he started move up the leader board.
With five-minutes left on the clock, the 20-year-old found his rhythm and put a pass on Henry Jacobi to join his teammate inside the top-five at the end of Race 1.
Scorching hot temperatures matched the fierce pace that Jago Geerts and Ben Watson were running in Race 2. The duo launched out of the gate to make up the top-three on the opening lap.
Geerts is a very smooth and technically gifted rider. He had sense of elegance as he kept the front wheel of his YZ250F light over the choppy Latvian terrain with his teammate in his wake.
Halfway through the race, Watson mounted a charge on Geerts and made a brave attempt at a pass but made a mistake in the process. As the duo battled for second, the eventual Grand Prix winner Thomas Kjer Olsen snuck up and took the position. Geerts responded immediately, stepped up his game and gave all that witnessed his speed and determination in the closing stages of the race, goose bumps. His performance was arguably one of the best to come from a MX2 rookie in recent times, and was nothing short of incredible as he chased Kjer Olsen home for a career-best race finish, third.
Watson was fourth-place at the flag in Race 2 for fifth overall, 4-points shy of the podium.
The next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship will take place next weekend, May 20th, in Teutschenthal, Germany.
2nd MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 38-points
"It feels really good to stand on the podium. It has been a good weekend, with a dream race to finish off the weekend. I saw Prado make a mistake while he was leading, but I had Olsen still in front of me, so I knew it would be difficult to win even though I felt like I had the speed. Still, I am happy and it's nice to stand on the podium."
5th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 34-points
"I am happy with how the weekend has gone. Two consistent rides and I was up front again. I came into this weekend not knowing what to expect after I crashed last weekend at the Dutch Championship and sprained my wrist. I didn't ride this week, so my mind wasn't 100% focused on the racing as such, but to leave with a fifth and fourth place finish, I am happy with that. It is good points for what remains a really long championship."