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Geerts Bounces Back with Brilliant Grand Prix Victory

Geerts Bounces Back with Brilliant Grand Prix Victory

Back to the familiar setting of Mantova for the 11th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts bounced back from two difficult rounds with an emphatic Grand Prix win. Teammate Ben Watson was fourth overall and missed the podium by 1-point after a brilliant race to third in the final outing.

Crashing is an inevitable part of being an elite motocross racer regardless of talent or ability; every rider on the line has had an ‘off’ day at some point in their career. What makes a champion is how well he bounces back from the struggle. And bounce back is exactly what Jago Geerts did. The 20-year-old Belgian fired up his YZ250FM and took to Mantova's flat and sandy circuit for the third Grand Prix in the space of seven days, determined to make amends to his previous two rounds at the venue. The ‘193’ soared to the top of the time sheet to go Pole for the second time in his career with a 1:50.403, while Watson posted a 1:51.715 for sixth. 

After going to the gate first for the second time in his career, Geerts was at a mental advantage. He got a good jump off the line but was squeezed at the corner by the championship leader Tom Vialle and wildcard rider, Michael Sander. In a class that is full of fiery young riders, Geerts was held up for two laps by the rookie, who was desperately trying to maintain a position inside the top-three. Vialle managed to stretch out a 6-second lead in the meantime and it wasn’t until Lap-3 that Geerts finally found a line combination that would allow him to pass Sander to take over second position.  

For the 15-minutes that followed, Geerts twisted the throttle of his YZ250FM as far around as it could go. He hit his lines perfectly and set the fastest lap of the race by more than 1-second. He kept posting consistently quick times and caught Vialle, but eventually ran out of time and had to settle for second.  

Watson put in some impressive laps as he battled back from a mid-pack start to finish sixth.  

In the second and final race, Watson put all the power and torque of his YZ250FM to good use. The tall Brit pulled a fantastic holeshot and led the opening lap as his teammate Geerts charged from fifth up into third.  

On Lap-2, the main championship protagonists, Vialle and Geerts, blitzed past Watson as they went head-to-head for both race and Grand Prix honors. Geerts set the fastest lap with 10 minutes left on the clock and executed a classic outside-cut-inside pass on Vialle for the lead.

The '193' then silenced any doubters on his way to a ninth race win and fourth Grand Prix victory.  Watson found his flow in third and remained there to the flag.

 Geerts remains second overall in the MX2 Championship Standings. Watson is seventh.  The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will occur on Sunday 11th October, in Madrid, Spain. 

For full results from the MXGP of Europe, click here. 

Jago Geerts

MX2 Grand Prix of Europe Winner, 47-points

“It was a really good day for me. In the first head I had a pretty good start but in the beginning,  I spent too long behind another rider and it was very difficult to pass. In the end I was able to catch Tom (Vialle), but it was too late. In the second head I got a better start. I was in third and felt good on track, I was behind Tom for quite a long time but in the end,  I could pass him and win the GP so it was a really good day. I am happy with that and I want to keep this momentum going.” 

Ben Watson

4th MX2 Grand Prix of Europe, 35-points

“It’s been a pretty solid day. This morning we went out for Qualifying, they didn’t change any of the track but I just thought that after the rain that the track would get a lot more technical with a lot more lines and more opportunities to pass. I missed a gear down the straight in Race 1 and lost everything. I found it difficult to make a difference today. I wasn’t on the pace of the top two, but I was just there. Finished sixth. I got the holeshot in the second race, Jago and Tom passed me and I tried to sit on their pace, but they were just a bit ahead today. I finished third, I am happy with that and happy to leave Mantova with good points.”