Watson Celebrates Return to Racing on the Podium
The fourteenth round of the MX2 World Championship at the brutal sand circuit of Lommel, Belgium, was bitter-sweet for the Belgium based Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 team. Ben Watson celebrated his return from injury with a bottle of champagne on the third-step of the podium, while Jago Geerts put in a mind-blowing performance for second-place in the opening race, but a strange and untimely technical error spoiled his hopes of a maiden Grand Prix win.
An enormous turn-out of 'JG193' fans were excited to see their star Jago Geerts put on a show with a thrilling ride in the first race of the day. The 19-year-old Belgian was hit by another rider and knocked to the ground at turn-one. Starting from last position, he put in a hair-raising charge through the field, where he passed 38 riders, to finish in second-position.
Ben Watson had no expectations going into the Belgian Grand Prix. The last time he lined up for a MX2 Grand Prix, other than his solid attempt at qualifying for the MXGP of Indonesia which saw him further injure his broken hand, was almost 5-weeks ago.
In his first race back, the 22-year-old Briton finished an astonishing fifth place after starting inside the top-five and fighting hard around the physically demanding and brutal circuit of Lommel to keep fifth position all the way to the flag.
A less dramatic start to the second and final race of the weekend ended in devastation for Geerts. The hard-charging Belgian emerged from turn-one in tenth, five positions behind his teammate, Watson, and after 10-minutes he had already moved into second-position.
As Geerts tried to chip away at the lead of Jorge Prado, Watson found himself in a race-long battle for third with Calvin Vlaanderen, which he ended up securing when Geerts suffered a heart-breaking issue that forced him out of the race.
Watson's efforts allowed him to mount the podium for the first time this season. Geerts second place in Race 1 was enough to round out the top-ten in the Grand Prix classification.
Geerts dropped back to fourth in the MX2 Championship Standings. He needs 3-points on Tom Vialle to regain third position. Watson remains in seventh position.
The next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship will take place in Imola, Italy, on the weekend of August 16th.
3rd MX2 Grand Prix Overall
"Unbelievable weekend for me. I have not been riding in the last 6 weeks, so I have just been focusing on physical training like cycling and stuff. I knew my physical condition was going to be good, but I thought I would miss race intensity because there is no substitute for racing. I wasn't even sure if I would be able to ride, I just tested my hand a couple of days before the GP and then made the decision. I lined up with no expectation. I enjoyed racing so much. I think this is what I need to focus on in the future."
10th MX2 Grand Prix Overall
"It was a disappointing end to my weekend. My speed was good. I crashed in the first race and came back strong for second position. In the second race, I didn't get the best start but I moved quickly into second position and was riding good until I had a problem with the bike and I couldn't finish the race.I just want to thank the fans and all of the people that supported me this weekend. It was nice to see."