Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Maxime Renaux celebrated an emphatic Grand Prix victory – the second of his career and first of 2021 - at the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship at Matterley Basin, in Winchester, England. As a result, the Frenchman has moved up to second in the MX2 World Championship standings. Meanwhile, teammates Thibault Benistant and Jago Geerts finished the Grand Prix of Great Britain seventh and 11th, respectively.
Matterley Basin this year was a lot firmer and slicker than in previous years. The hardpacked, rough and bumpy base didn’t develop the deep ruts it usually does, which meant the speed of the venue was high and lap-times were close. In Qualifying Practice, only 1-second separated the top-seven riders. Benistant set the second-fastest time with a 2:21.289, only fractionally quicker than his teammate Renaux, who posted a time of 2:21.410 for third. Geerts fastest lap was a 2:23.489. He qualified 15th.
A good start can be the difference between winning and losing in motocross. After making changes to their YZ250FMs ahead of racing today, both Renaux and Benistant rocketed out of the gate and fronted the field in the opening race.
In what was a gripping race that went right down to the wire, Renaux remained poised and in control as he led all 14-laps for his first race win of 2021. Meanwhile, Benistant was the fastest man on track for much of the race but finished fifth after crashing out of a battle for second position on lap-5.
After a mid-pack start, Geerts, who is suffering the effects of a knee injury, made some impressive passes on his way to seventh.
In contrast to the opening race, all three riders had to fight forward from the back of the pack in the final race of the day. Renaux made a series of spectacular passes with no time to waste as he stormed from 15th to seventh in the space of a lap. After a formidable ride, the 20-year-old Frenchman eventually finished second.
With an extreme depth of talent in the MX2 class, most riders are evenly matched in speed, making passing extremely difficult, particularly on tracks that lack technical difficulty. Benistant felt a little hesitant on the opening laps but managed to battle back from outside of the top-15 to finish ninth.
Adding insult to injury, Geerts was disappointed to finish 22nd after a poor start and two crashes.
Renaux has moved within 5-points of the MX2 Championship lead, while Benistant has shifted up into ninth in the series. Geerts also gained one position and is now 11th. The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place next weekend in Maggiora, Italy, on July 4th.