Magnificent Geerts in Maggiora
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rider Jago Geerts was magnificent in Maggiora. The Belgian celebrated his 13 Grand Prix Victory on Italian soil and extended his championship lead to 6 points over Tom Vialle. Thibault Benistant had a difficult day and finished 11th.
After the races in Mantova and Pietramurata, the FIM World Championship stopped in Italy for the third time in 2022. This time on the hillside and prestigious venue in Maggiora. Although rain was forecast, it remained dry on Saturday in northern Italy. Jago Geerts and Thibault Benistant felt well on the dry and fast track and qualified second and fourth respectively, giving them a good starting position for Sunday's heats. Overnight rain changed the track. From flat and fast on Saturday to technical and one-lined on Sunday. A lot happened at the start of the first race. Guadagnini and Vialle crashed in the tricky second-third turn combination. Geerts could only just avoid them, Benistant unfortunately not. Geerts took the lead from turn 3 and stormed smoothly to his seventh race win of the season. The unfortunate Benistant - who won a moto in Maggiora last year - struggled to regroup and finished 15th.
13th GP victory
Some more rain ahead of the second moto made the track even more more tricky. Geerts powered his YZ250FM to a fifth place in the first turn, while teammate Benistant was 13th. The Belgian struggled to find his normal rhythm and the good lines in the beginning of the race. Still, he quickly managed to move up to second position, but he was already six seconds behind leader Vialle. Halfway through the race, Geerts finally found a good flow and went after the Frenchman. With only two laps to go the Belgian was right behind Vialle. Geerts was looking to pass his rival in the final lap, but couldn't find a spot to launch his decisive pass. However, Jago still won the Grand Prix - his 13th - and extended his championship lead over Vialle to six points. Further back, Benistant managed to make up some places and finished 8th.
#93 Jago Geerts
1st overall - 1st in championship
"Two consistent starts, two consistent motos and a great result. I was able to stay out of trouble in both motos, not so easy on this tricky and technical track. My first race was almost perfect: a good start, get to the lead quickly, create a gap and control. The second race was more difficult. Especially in the beginning. I couldn't find my rhythm right away. Once found, I went after Vialle. I came close, very close, but in the end the track was very one lined, and I made the push a bit too late. But like I said, I'm happy with a 1-2 for today and I'm already looking forward to next weekend in the deep sand of Riola Sardo. A track that suits me even more."
#198 Thibault Benistant
11th overall - 11th in championship
"It's not easy to accept this result. Eleventh is not was I expected after some good races in the past few weeks. My weekend had started well with a fourth place in the qualifying race on Saturday. We had some overnight rain. Normally, those tricky and bumpy conditions should suit me. But not this time. In the first race I had some bad luck. I couldn't avoid two riders crashing in front of me. I struggled to regroup and couldn't ride like I do during training. Same story in race 2. I have to forget this race as soon as possible and above all I have to keep working hard so I can fight for the podium again soon."
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 2. Stephen Rubini (Fra/Hon) +0:09.035 3. Isak Gifting (Swe/KTM) +0:21.906 4. Liam Everts (Bel/KTM) +0:25.604 5. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:28.005 15. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +1:22.885
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:01.505 3. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) +0:35.047 4. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) +0:55.557 5. Mikkel Haarup (Den/Kaw) +0:56.827 8. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +1:11.449
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 47 2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 41 3. Stephen Rubini (Fra/Hon) 37 4. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) 35 5. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) 30 11. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 19
World championship classification (7/20)
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 291 2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 285 3. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) 216 4. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) 211 5. Mikkel Haarup (Den/Kaw) 211 11. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 113
Next race: May 15, GP8 Riola Sardo (Ita)