Turbulent Weekend for Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 In Portugal
The Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 team endured a luckless Grand Prix in Agueda, Portugal, with both riders unable to avoid fallen riders in the final race of the weekend. Jago Geerts' third-place finish in the opening race of the weekend awarded enough points for a top-ten finish in the Grand Prix overall, while Ben Watson had a weekend to forget in 18th.
The high-speed Portuguese circuit did not form too many ruts or lines this weekend. It only developed slick patches and small skittery braking bumps, elements that did not favor Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha's Ben Watson as he tried to fight forward from the back of the pack in both races.
Water had been put on the track heading into the opening race of the weekend, and with the base of the circuit being rock-hard, the added water made the surface very slippery and difficult to read. Throttle control and careful line selection was of the essence, two skills that usually play to Geerts' strengths.
In Race 1, Geerts made it known he is a genuine podium threat as he stormed past five riders to seal the deal on third position. Meanwhile, Watson salvaged 2-points with his 18th place finish after falling while challenging a place inside the top-five on the opening lap.
Luckless in the final race, both Watson and Geerts were victims of unavoidable incidents that were caused by the mistakes of other riders. Watson was working his way back from an average start when he slammed into a bike that was laying in the middle of the track and went over the 'bars. The 21-year-old was able to remount and recovered well for 14th position.
Geerts, on the other hand, was hit by the championship leader at turn one. The contact was so intense that it broke his goggles and he had to pull into the all-new 'goggle lane' for a new set. After rejoining the race, the youngster made a charge for a place inside the top-20 until he ran into a fallen rider and could not free his bike from the carnage.
After a turbulent weekend, Geerts remains fourth in the MX2 Championship Standings while Watson has dropped to seventh. Both riders will be out for redemption in five days time at the MXGP of France, in Saint Jean d'Angely.
9th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 4th MX2 Championship Standings
"The first heat was really good for me. I rode really good to finish third. In the second heat, Olsen made a mistake I think and hit me really hard, so hard my goggles broke and I had to pull into the goggle lane for a new set. I was riding pretty good once I went back out and then a rider fell in front of me and his bike was stuck in my wheel. We were there for more than two-laps and at that point, the race was done."
18th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 7th MX2 Championship Standings
"Terrible weekend for me. I had a good start in the first race but slipped off in the mud and then made too many mistakes and couldn't come back through the pack. The second race was more or less the same, I didn't feel like I was riding like I know I can, but I tried to come back through and then someone had an enormous crash in front of me and there was nothing I could do but go straight into them. I went over the 'bars really big. I rode a little bit better in that one, but not where I should be. We will keep fighting. On to the next one."