The talented Jago Geerts showed his abilities again in front of his home crowd at the Grand Prix of Belgium, in Lommel. The 18-year-old rookie put in a hair-raising performance in the second moto, finishing second. Unfortunately, it was just not enough for a spot on the overall podium after his seventh place in the first moto. Ben Watson didn’t meet his expectations and finished eighth (11+5), Anthony Rodriguez came home in 20th position (17+DNF).

Sand. A lot of sand. Deep sand. Round 15 of the FIM world championship took place in Lommel, on probably the toughest track in the world. One advantage: Jago Geerts loves riding in the sand. The more difficult the conditions, the better. The Kemea Yamaha-riders all missed their start in the first moto: Geerts (12th), Watson (14th) and Rodriguez (19th) had a lot of work to do. While Geerts moved up to eight position very quickly, his teammates were struggling. The Belgian teenager kept on pushing and could close the gap on Vlaanderen, who was riding in fifth place. Geerts was ready to attack, but made a small mistake, crashed and finished seventh instead of fifth. Watson was making too many mistakes and came home in 11th place, Rodriguez had a late crash and crossed the line in 17th position.

Watson had a great start in the second heat, just behind Prado and Olsen. But the Briton couldn’t keep up the pace in the beginning and dropped four places in only one lap. Geerts was going the opposite direction: from ninth in the first corner to fourth place in only five laps. Meanwhile, Rodriguez had a small crash. Unfortunately, his bike was hit by another rider and was badly damaged. Game over. Geerts wasn’t satisfied with a fourth place and was hunting Olsen and Covington in front of him. The Belgian was flying over the circuit and had no mercy for the Huskies, also two good sand riders. Only GP-winner Prado remained out of range. “What a phenomenal second moto of Geerts”, said team owner Hans Corvers. “It’s such a shame that Jago wasn’t rewarded with an overall podium. He finished fourth. Fourth… Again. The eighth time already this season for a Kemea Yamaha rider.”

#193 Jago Geerts
4th overall
“That second moto was amazing. I was having a lot of fun on the bike. The spectators were going crazy. I could really hear them shout. I got goosebumps. Of course it’s a pity that I missed the podium by only two points. Two points which I threw away in the first moto, with that crash in the end. But I can’t complain. That second moto was so nice. I passed all those great sand riders. This is another nice chapter this season.”

#919 Ben Watson
8th overall
“A frustrating weekend. I didn’t feel well just before the first race. Ik felt like jelly. I didn’t have strength during the whole race and was making a lot of mistakes. When I look back, I think it was more of a mental problem. I’ve put too much pressure on myself. I tried to forget everything between both motos. But the first minutes of my second moto were also terrible. I dropped from 3rd to 7th place. Fortunately, I found my rhythm just in time and could move up to 5th place.”

#127 Anthony Rodriguez
20th overall
“A disappointing Grand Prix. I had a terrible start in the first moto and had a lot of difficulties to pass other riders. Still, I managed to move up to 15th position. But then I crashed. A big crash on the big jump. Fortunately, I didn’t get injured. The second moto was a short one. I made a stupid mistake in the third lap and went down. Not a big crash, but my bike got hit by another rider and was badly damaged. It was impossible to continue.”

Marnicq Bervoets
Team manager
“What a performance of Geerts. That kid keeps on surprising me. His first moto was good, his second outstanding. He was flying over the circuit. With a lot confidence, physically very strong and so smooth. One word: top! It’s a pity that he wasn’t rewarded with an overall podium. One thing is for sure: Jago has a bright future in front of him. Watson wasn’t at his normal level this weekend. He didn’t feel good, especially mentally. But he reacted well in the second moto.”


First moto
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM)
2. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) +0:11.439
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:21.141
4. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) +0:31.144
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) +0:33.899
7. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:56.360
11. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) +1:16.073
17. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (Ven/Yam) +1 lap

Second moto
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM)
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:04.083
3. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) +0:12.715
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:21.133
5. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) +0:24.378

Overall classification
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 50
2. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) 42
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 38
4. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 36
5. Paul Jonass (Lat/KTM) 33
8. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) 26

Championship classification (15/20)
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 645
2. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) 617
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 492
4. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) 453
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) 444
7. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 346

Next race: August 15, Belgian Masters in Balen

Images by CDS