Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider Jago Geerts won his second consecutive Grand Prix - his third of the season - in Kegums, Latvia. Team mate Ben Watson missed the podium by two points in round 5 of the FIM world championship MX2.
#193 Jago Geerts. Image by @shotbybavo
The organiser made a few changes to the track (couple more twists and turns in the middle section) for the final round of the Latvian triple header. Jago Geerts was fifth in time practice, Watson only 13th.
Despite his mediocre result in time practice, Watson rocketed out of the gate in race 1 for his first ever holeshot in MX2. Teammate Jago Geerts was only ninth in the first turn and had to work hard in the beginning of the race. Watson lost the lead to Vialle, but managed to keep a good pace. Meanwhile, Geerts was on the move. After three laps he rode already in third place, right behind his teammate. The Belgian passed Watson on lap 5 and needed a few laps to find some new good lines. With 10 minutes to go, Geerts started his catch up race on leader Vialle. Jago was planning his attack in the last lap, but things went wrong. Geerts jumped into the side of backmarker Haavisto, who didn't go aside... Jago crashed, but could remount his YZ250FM and managed to finish second, just in front of a very consistent Watson.
Holeshot 2The start of the second race was almost a carbon copy of the first one for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Team. One difference: both riders switched places. Geerts got the holeshot this time, while Watson was ninth in the first turn. Geerts got Vialle right behind him almost the entire race. No matter how hard the Frenchman tried, the Belgian didn't succumb to the pressure. Race and overall victory for Geerts, his third of the season. Watson needed a couple of laps to find the right rhythm and pace. Once found, the Brit moved up and finished fifth in the race and fourth overall. Geerts stays second in the world championship, eight points behind leader Vialle. Watson moved up one place and is now seventh in the championship.
#919 Ben Watson. Image by @shotbybavo
#193 Jago Geerts
First place“Another good day, with another victory. It's a pity that I crashed in the first race with a lapped rider. Maybe the guy could have moved a bit further aside, but he didn't do it on purpose. I'm not mad at him. I'm really satisfied with my second race. Vialle was pushing a lot, but I remained in control the entire race. He came close, but never close enough. Three Grand Prix victories in five races this season, not bad at all. I hope I can continue like that."
#919 Ben Watson
"Result wise it was a pretty good day. But to be honest, I was a little bit off today, I didn't have a good feeling the entire day. I wasn't as good as the previous two races, but was consistent. My holeshot helped a lot in the first race. It's a really good feeling to get out of the gate like that. Mu start of the second race was mediocre. I felt tired after a few minutes, like I hit a wall. It took me a while to get into the groove. Unfortunately too late for a spot on the podium. Fourth place. Again. A bit frustrating. But I keep on learning."
"First and fourth: a nice result. Of course we dream to have both Jago and Ben on the podium. Maybe next time. Jago is a regular on the podium and Ben is improving week by week. His first race was very consistent. In the second race he needed too much time to find a good rhythm and speed. And Jago... Third GP-victory of the season. Great job. Especially the way he reacted in race two after the crash with the backmarker in the first race. Holeshot and controlling the race with Vialle right behind him. Well done."
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM)
2. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +0:24.000
3. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:26.607
4. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) +0:46.884
5. Conrad Mewse (GBr/KTM) +0:54.222
1. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM)
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:17.633
3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) +0:28.173
4. Maxime Renaux (Fra/Yam) +0:30.025
5. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:31.000
1. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) 47
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 47
3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) 38
4. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 36
5. Maxime Renaux (Fra/Yam) 30
World championship classification
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 217
2. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) 209
3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) 153
4. Maxime Renaux (Fra/Yam) 149
5. Jed Beaton (Aus/Hus) 148
7. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 127
Next race: September 6, GP6 Afyonkarahisar (Tur)