Courtesy of Yamaha Racing
The impressive Monte Coralli circuit in Faenza, Italy, played host to the MX2 World Championship for the third time in the space of week with the eighth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship taking place in front of 1000 spectators. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts treated the small number of fans that were permitted to attend to a stunning race win followed by a hard fought second place finish for second overall. Teammate, Ben Watson, showed a glimpse of his potential after an incredible start in the second race. The Brit finished seventh and fifth in the points-paying races for sixth overall.
A neck-and-neck start to the opening MX2 race saw Geerts dicing for top-honours with his closest rival Tom Vialle. The duo swapped first position a couple of times on the opening lap before Geerts backed off in search of quicker lines.
A mature approach to the race worked in the 20-year-old’s favor. The ‘193’ put himself in a position where he was able to out-drag the championship leader uphill after executing an inside rut at the bottom of the hill to perfection on Lap-6.
Utilizing the competitive torque and power of his YZ250FM, Geerts impressively charged to an eighth race victory of the season, while his teammate, Watson, fought from outside of the top-10 to seventh.
In the second and final race of the weekend, Watson finally got his YZ250FM promptly out of the gate. He edged his teammate out of second position at turn-one and went in hunt of the early race leader Vialle. After briefly setting the fastest lap of the race on Lap-2, the ‘919’ continued to up the pace until he went into a rut too hot and lost the front.
A quick remount saw the Brit lose three positions to Jed Beaton and Geerts followed by the Poleman Roan van de Moosedijk.
As Watson tried to regroup, Geerts started to find his speed out on the fast-paced hillside circuit. He passed Beaton with ease on Lap-8 for second position but could not do anything about the 7-second gap to the leader, Vialle.
At the flag, Geerts finished a comfortable second while Watson recovered from his fall on Lap-3 to finish fifth.
Despite finishing on the same points as the Grand Prix winner, Geerts was relegated to the second step of the podium with the overall result favouring the rider that was best placed in the final race.
Podium contender Maxime Renaux recovered from a poor start in the opening race and put in a thrilling charge through the pack from outside of the top-10 and up into third before crashing out of the position. Another crash on the same lap meant the SM Action M.C. Migliori rider would only finish tenth.
In the second and final race, Renaux had a mechanical issue but impressively nursed his bike to ninth position for ninth overall.
Geerts remains second in the MX2 Championship Standings, 21-points shy of the leader. Renaux has retained third position while Watson has moved up to sixth.
The next stop on the MXGP calendar will be in Mantova, Italy, where another three back-to-back Grands Prix will take place in the space of a week. The three events, rounds nine, ten and eleven of the series, will take place on Sunday 27th and Wednesday 30th September with the third round of the Lombardian triple-header expected to take place on October 4th.
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna, 47-points
2nd MX2 Championship Standings, 333-points
“I had a really good start in the first heat, I got the holeshot. Vialle passed me after a couple of corners but I could get him back after five or six laps. I felt really good on the track and I won the first race. I was really happy with that. I got another good start in Race 2 but I was fourth after the first lap because they watered the track a lot, so it was really sketchy. In the beginning it was difficult but I managed to find my rhythm and got back to second place but by then Vialle was already too far ahead. I felt good on the bike and I’m on the podium again, so I am happy with that.”
6th MX2 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna, 30-points
6th MX2 Championship Standings, 191-points
“It was a day of mixed emotions really. Qualifying started better. I had a good feeling on the track and with my bike, it was nothing special but good enough for a nice gate pick. Race 1, I took a mediocre start, but unfortunately went off track and lost a lot of places. I had a small issue with my bike which made the race very difficult but in the end I was seventh. Race 2, I managed to gate in third place. I could move up to second behind Vialle and I was feeling really comfortable. I felt I was taking no risk at all and managing to ride my own race but yet again the track was unpredictable and I just lost the front in a corner, my own mistake. I managed to get up quickly and finish in fifth place but after my crash I could not find my pace from before the small crash again. Overall, I am happy to be leaving here healthy, the results were nothing special but I have managed to ride on a high level therefor I am leaving happy.”