More Improvements In Turkey For Watson & Rodriguez
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Ben Watson set the fastest lap-time onboard the all-new 2019 YZ250F in the final race of the weekend at the eighteenth round of the MX2 World Championship in Afyon, Turkey. The Briton finished fourth-place in both races for fifth overall, a result that does not reflect how superb he rode this weekend. Teammate Anthony Rodriguez also put in some encouraging performances for seventh overall.
A frantic opening race saw Ben Watson and Anthony Rodriguez get their YZ250F's off to brilliant starts. Watson's quick reaction speed placed him inside the top-three onboard the all-new 2019 bike, while Rodriguez had a decent jump and went around turn-one bar-to-bar with a group of riders in fifth. Both riders lost a few positions on the fast and furious opening lap, but were able to quickly regroup.
Watson had dropped back to fifth before turn-three, but managed to take advantage of a fallen Pauls Jonass on Lap-9 to finish fourth in Race One. Meanwhile, Rodriguez made some impressive passes on his charge from tenth-place and up into seventh where he was able to challenge the defending champion, Jonass, for sixth, but eventually had to settle for seventh.
The adjustments made to the new bike ahead of warm-up this morning were positive for Watson. The twenty year-old, who was the fastest rider in the warm-up session, was able to pull two fantastic starts in the points paying races today. He chased the Race One winner, Thomas Covington, around turn-one in the final race of the day before being shuffled back to fifth by the three riders that are currently ahead of him in the championship. With every lap completed, Watson picked up the pace and on Lap 7 he set the fastest lap of the race as he scrubbed past the championship leader, Jorge Prado, for fourth place.
Like Watson, Rodriguez was quick out of the gate in both races. The hard-charging twenty-three year-old had an incredible battle with Prado for sixth, a battle in which he prevailed and secured the position with four laps to go.
Both riders made some solid improvements this weekend and are looking forward to the next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship that will take place at the Dutch TT Circuit, Assen, The Netherlands, on the weekend of September 16th.
5th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 4th MX2 Championship Standings
"I felt frustrated yesterday, but went back to the hotel last night and had a word with myself and decided to come back and enjoy it today. Today was a much better day; I had two amazing starts and two solid rides. I went 4 - 4, so it was nice to be riding up front again and feeling like my usual self. I am really happy with that because it has been a tough few weeks and it's nice to have this kind of boost to feel excited for the last two rounds."
7th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 15th MX2 Championship Standings
"It was a really tough track this week. It was super high speed and that doesn't work in my favour as I am one of the heavier riders on the line, but that is no excuse. I had some decent starts today. I had to make some passes after not making some good line-choices in the first couple of turns, but after that, I feel it was good for me to know that I can last the moto running a good pace and battling with the guys that have won races and GP's this year. It's a shame I came to the MXGP series a little bit too late and that I have to move up because I would have loved to line-up for a full season after an entire off-season of preparing. It would have been nice to see what I could do."