Jago Geerts showed his incredible talent again in round ten of the world championship, in Saint-Jean d’Angély, France. The Belgian teenager finished fourth overall on the hard-pack track after an impressive second place in the second moto. Ben Watson took two bad starts and had to work very hard to finish sixth overall. Anthony Rodriguez had to withdraw after he sustained an ankle injury during free practice.

Overnight rain made the hard-pack track a lot rougher and more tricky on Sunday. No problem for Jago Geerts. The deeper the ruts and the more difficult the track, the better for the Belgian teenager. Geerts had a good start (seventh) in front of a big and enthusiastic French crowd and made progression throughout the race after passing Cervellin and Jacobi. On his way to fifth place Geerts even set the fastest lap of the race. Ben Watson was, again, very unfortunate in the start. The Briton was wiped out in the first straight and had to fight back from outside top 25. Watson recovered well, passing a lot of opponents to finish ninth.

Geerts took a blistering start in the second moto, with only Prado in front of him. The Kemea youngster was not impressed at all, stayed cool and followed the Spaniard all race long, resulting in a second place. His best ever result in a moto. But not enough to finish on the overall podium as he did in Latvia. In the world championship standings Geerts is now sixth.
Watson was only 14th in the first corner and had to work hard again. The Briton was making progress throughout the field – together with world championship leader Pauls Jonass – lap by lap and finished seventh in the second moto and sixth overall.

No Anthony Rodriguez in action on Sunday. The Venezuelan, who is replacing the injured Vsevolod Brylyakov since the GP in Teutschenthal, twisted his right ankle during free practice on Saturday and was forced to withdraw on Sunday. Rodriguez is expected to be back on his YZ250F in Ottobiano, next weekend.

We are now the halfway point of the season. With two GP-podiums (Watson in Russia and Geerts in Latvia) and two riders in the top ten of the world championship classification (Watson on four, Geerts on six) Kemea Yamaha can look back on a strong first half of the season. Only bummer: the knee injury of Vsevolod Brylakov.

“We have to be honest. Two times on the podium, almost each time at least one rider in top five and two riders in top six of the championship: that’s something we didn’t expect at the beginning of the season”, says team owner Hans Corvers. “But we are only halfway the season. We can’t relax now. We need to keep working hard.”

#193 Jago Geerts
4th overall
“Second in a moto, fourth overall: I really didn’t expect it when I arrived here. It’s a hard-pach track, something I’m not really used to yet. But I improved every session. The rain during the night was kind of a present for me. Deeper ruts, more technical: that’s something I like. And of course, the team made me a great bike. My starts were awesome. That helps a lot. On the one hand, it’s a pity that I just missed the podium. On the other hand: fourth on this track is great. Now I have to change my focus to school again. My exams will start on Tuesday. First on: mathematics, not the easiest subject.”

#919 Ben Watson
6th overall
“A disappointing weekend, as you look at the result. Sixth overall, that is not good enough. My riding was good, but my starts messed it up. In the first moto I got wiped out on the straight by somebody. I went down pretty hard and injured my wrist a little bit. In the second moto I just got passed by a lot of guys on the straight. In both motos I had no other option then work my way up again. Not easy on this track. I’m happy with my riding, but I feel that I don’t get the reward I deserve. That’s frustrating. Mentally, it’s difficult. There’s no other option then keep on working hard.”

#127 Anthony Rodriguez
Ankle injury
“I twisted my ankle (ligament strain) during free practice. I immediately knew that something was wrong. Yet, I decided to start in time practice. I crashed, maybe because of my ankle, and made the injury even worse. I was struggling and fighting the pain during the entire qualification race. The medical staff advised me not to race on Sunday. This is, of course, a setback. I was making progress since I arrived at Kemea Yamaha. That progression is now interrupted. Normally, one week of rest will be sufficient. I’m pretty sure that I will be racing in Ottobiano, next weekend.

Marnicq Bervoets
Team manager 
“What a great performance of Jago! I’m so proud of him. We knew that Germany, Great-Britain and France would be the most difficult GP’s for him. He’s still going to school and can’t practice that much on those kind of hard-pack tracks. It was nice to see how Jago was improving during those three grand prix. What he showed today was really impressive. I really like Jago. He doesn’t have a big mouth, he never complains. Working hard and riding fast: that’s Jago. The same can be said about Watson. He is one of the fastest riders on the track, but doesn’t get the reward he deserves. I know it’s hard to swallow for Ben, but I’m sure he will get some great results soon.”

Results MX2

1. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus)
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:03.573
3. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) +0:05.910
4. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) +0:11.808
5. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +0:15.171
9. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 1:03.209

1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM)
2. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +0:03.163
3. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) +0:05.751
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:12.352
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA/Hon) +0:18.444
7. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:23.243

1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 45
2. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) 45
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 40
5. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) 33

1. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) 434
2. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 418
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 328
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA/Hon) 259

Next race: June 17, GP11 Ottobiano, Italy

Images by BAVO