Watson Closes in On MX2 Championship Top-Three
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Ben Watson bought the thousands of British fans to their feet with two stunning charges through the pack for a near-podium finish at the Matterley Basin circuit near Winchester, England - round nine of the FIM MX2 World Championship - where he gained 33-points on the rider in third place in the MX2 Championship Standings, and will head into the tenth round - of the twenty round series - trailing the top-three by a narrow 9-points.
Hot temperatures added an extra element to the hard, fast and jumpy venue of Matterley Basin. Ben Watson had to scrape the bottom of the barrel in search of energy after he had an unusual issue at the start of race one and had to charge from dead last. The Briton's performance was nothing short of incredible as he powered his YZ250F up into sixth place at the flag.
A top-ten start worked in favor of Anthony Rodriguez. The Venezuelan was able to match the pace of the front-runners for the 30-minute plus 2-lap duration of the race to finish in ninth place for his first top-ten finish of the 2018 MX2 season. Jago Geerts managed to pick up 5-points for sixteenth place after he fought back from a crash on lap-one.
With less than 2-hours between races, the trio barely had time to catch their breath before they had to line up for the final race of the weekend. Once again, a mediocre start left Watson with his work cut out as he followed his teammate Geerts around turn-one just outside of the top-ten.
Watson took ten-minutes to find his flow, and once he did, he added to the antagonising story of his season with yet another inspiring performance resulting in a very-near podium finish.
Like Watson, Geerts bounced back from his Race 1 woes and took his YZ250F to an encouraging seventh place finish, while Rodriguez battled through the pain barrier of an inflamed kidney and came home in eleventh place.
Rodriguez and Geerts rounded out the top-eleven, in that respective order, while Watson finished fourth overall, but gained a whopping 33-points on the rider who is currently third in the MX2 Championship Standings. He now trails the top-3 by 9-points.
The next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship will take place next weekend, June 9th and 10th in Saint Jean d'Angely, France.
4th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 4th MX2 Championship Standings
"It's been a real positive weekend in ways, and then really frustrating in other ways. I am really happy leaving here, it has been a consistent day for me and an even better day for the championship as I've closed to 9-points on third place. It's still a long championship and there is still a lot to play for, so I just want to keep being consistent and taking solid points in each race. It was nice to come to the home GP and show the fans how I can ride. The result could have been better, but I am happy."
10th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 25th MX2 Championship Standings
"This weekend was an improvement from last weekend, I am really happy with the way I rode but a little bit frustrated with the way things went in the second moto. I had the opportunity to push a lot harder in the beginning, but I physically couldn't because I had a really bad stomach cramp and my body wasn't taking it. It's time to go back and do some homework and see what we can do about this and work from here. If I keep improving each weekend then for sure I am expecting to be inside the top-six. Getting better each weekend is my goal right now, and it is working so far."
11th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 8th MX2 Championship Standings
"It was a good end to the weekend. I struggled yesterday, the track was too flat for me but I felt better almost immediately this morning. I crashed in the first race but my riding was not too bad. I came from tenth to seventh in the final race and felt much better on the bike, so I am happy with that."