The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team had a tough day in Mantova, at round 10 of the FIM World Championship. Jago Geerts finished 7th overall, team mate Ben Watson 9th.

With a fifth (Geerts) and an eighth time (Watson) in qualifying, both Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 riders had a decent gate pick in the second of three rounds in Mantova.

Geerts got off to a good start in fourth position and went into attack mode from the very first corner. He passed Renaux, Haarup and Gifting in the opening lap to take the lead. The Belgian made a small gap, seemed to control the race, but suddenly lost the front and crashed on lap 5. Geerts picked up his bike and had to restart in seventh position, right behind teammate Watson, who needed a few laps to find the right pace and rhythm.

Geerts was angry with himself and started a catch up race. The Belgian was on the move again after passing Haarup, Watson and Van De Moosdijk. Geerts was closing the gap on the top three riders, but crashed again. He dropped to eighth place and wasn’t able to regroup a second time. Meanwhile, Watson had found his second wind. He was putting in some really fast laps in the latter stages of the race and came close to the top three riders, but not close enough and finished fourth.


Poor starts from the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 riders in the second race: Geerts was eighth, Watson was buried in 30th position after a first turn crash and faced a mission impossible.

Geerts clearly wanted to set something straight after a disappointing first race. He charged through the field, delivering some great, aggressive passes on Van De Moosdijk en Beaton. The Belgian was flying and only needed three laps to close a six-second gap on race leader Vialle. Geerts didn’t want to waste time and immediately went to the inside, but had his front wheel taken out and crashed. Instead of taking the lead, Jago had to settle for fifth place, and seventh overall.

Watson had a little hiccup in the beginning of his catch up race and had to start all over again. The Brit kept fighting and managed to cross the line in 13th position. Unfortunately, he got a penalty for not seeing a waved yellow flag and lost two more places, finishing ninth overall.

#193 Jago Geerts

7th overall

“We struggled with the setup during time practice and the first race.

I didn’t really feel comfortable and crashed twice in the first race. We changed the setup for the second race and I think everybody could see the difference. I felt really good, charged through the pack and closed the gap on Vialle pretty easy. I wanted to go for the pass immediately, but we touched and I crashed. No, I wasn’t too fierce. It was just bad luck. Again. That’s frustrating. I hope luck will be on my side soon. The only positive aspect: my level in the second race. I need to take that speed to the next Grand Prix.”

#919 Ben Watson

9th overall

“A day with mixed feelings. I did a smooth lap in qualifying, which was good enough for the start. I had a mediocre start in the first race, but was riding a bit too sloppy in the beginning. After five laps I finally could come through the pack and finished right behind the top three riders. The second race started disastrously. I crashed in the first turn, together with a few other riders. I had another small crash in the second lap, when trying to pass slower riders. I managed to come back from last to 13th place. Not a great result, but my riding was okay. The penalty? I don’t have any idea. I probably missed a waved yellow flag.”

Marnicq Bervoets

Team manager

“A disappointing day for all of us. The track was tricky and we couldn’t find the right set up for Geerts in the first race. We changed the setup in race 2, Jago was feeling more comfortable and was riding fantastic. The way he closed the gap on Viall so quickly was impressive. He immediately went for the attack. Maybe, he should have waited a bit longer. But he was in a good flow and full of adrenaline. It’s normal that you want to pass immediately. But Vialle closed the door and Jago crashed. Once more bad luck. Watson had a fantastic first race. He came really close to the top three riders. In race 2 he kept fighting until the end, after a first turn crash. Ben is back on his level of two years ago. That’s nice to see.”


Race 1

1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus)

2. Maxime Renaux (Fra/Yam) +0:01.490

3. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:03.279

4. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:04.536

5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) +0:11.427

8. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +0:30.411

Race 2

1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM)

2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:03.400

3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) +0:10.067

4. Conrad Mewse (GBr/KTM) +0:15.077

5. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +0:22.379

15. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +1:03.793


1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 47

2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 45

3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (Ned/Kaw) 36

4. Maxime Renaux (Fra/Yam) 35

5. Conrad Mewse (GBr/KTM) 32



World championship classification

1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 431


3. Maxime Renaux (Fra/Yam) 329

4. Jed Beaton (Aus/Hus) 316

5. Roan Van De Moosdijk 279


Next race: October 4, GP11 Mantova 3 (Ita)

Images by @shotbybavo –