The FIM World Championship will finally burst into action this weekend. First of 19 stops for the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 Team: the beautiful track in Neuquen, Argentina. Ben Watson and Jago Geerts arrived with a lot of confidence in Neuquen, after recent victories in Hawkstone Park (Geerts) and Lacapelle Marival (Watson).

2018 was a great season for the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Team, with Watson finishing fourth and Geerts eighth in the World Championship MX2. But the ambitious team wants more and raised the bar. The 21-year-old Watson is aiming for a spot in the top three, while Geerts (18) – Rookie of the Year last season – looks at a place inside the top five. Also on the wish list of team owner Hans Corvers: a grand prix victory. “We had a solid pre-season, the riders are in good shape and the YZ250F has improved a lot compared to last season”, says Corvers. “All the ingredients are present to make it a great season.”

The first international races didn’t really go the way Watson wanted, but the Brit was back on the top of his game last week in Lacapelle Marival. An impressive Watson dominated all sessions in France. Geerts was pretty regular in the pre-season races, with his victory in Hawkstone Park, two weeks ago, as a highlight. Needless to say that both Kemea Yamaha riders arrived in Argentina with a lot of confidence. They are ready to rumble.

#193 Jago Geerts

“I can’t complain about my pre-season. The feeling on the bike was good, the results were okay. One little problem: my starts. They need to be better. It’s something I’m working on during practice a lot. I finished school in the middle of last season. That’s a big advantage for me now. I can train a lot more and maybe even important: I can rest more, I can recover more easily. I finished eighth last season while still going to school. I want to improve each year, so I need to raise the bar in 2019. I’m aiming at the top five in the World Championship and also this weekend. I really love the track in Argentina. Nice soil, big jumps, lots of fans. Bring it on!”

#919 Ben Watson

“The weekend in Lacapella Marival was a mental boost for me. I needed a race like that after a few difficult weeks. Finally, I could ride to my full potential. All in all I’m pretty satisfied with my preparation. Sometimes you need difficult times – like the races in Riola Sardo and Ottobiano – to get stronger. I’m happy with the bike and physically I feel good. We have started with a better base this year. I think I will be stronger for longer. My goal is clear: I want to do better than my fourth place in 2018. But I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I will try to enjoy as much a possible. Because I know: when I enjoy, I can go fast.”