Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rider Jago Geerts finished second in round 8 of the FIM World Championship in Riola Sardo, Italy. The Belgian, who tied on points with GP winner Tom Vialle, maintains the championship lead. Thibault Benistant (third) grabbed his first podium of 2022.
Deep sand and with temperatures nudging 86 degrees: the riders faced the most challenging Grand Prix on the calendar up to now. Despite the heat and the tough track both Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 riders put in an awesome qualifying race, with Geerts in first (his fifth pole of the season) and Benistant in second position.
In a hurry
The roles were reversed at the start of the first race: Benistant powered his YZ250FM to the holeshot, with teammate Geerts right behind him. The Belgian was in a hurry and took the lead a few turns later, quickly followed by Vialle who had passed Benistant too. The Frenchman stayed close the entire race,but didn't really managed to get into Geerts' rear wheel... until the Belgian ended up in heavy traffic. Jago was barely able to dodge a crashing backmarker and lost some time, allowing Vialle to close the gap almost completely. Geerts moved up a gear in the last lap and got some help when Vialle tipped over. Meanwhile, Benistant rode a lonely but very consistent race in third position.
Benistant grabbed another holeshot in race 2, but was quickly passed by Vialle. Geerts had to charge through the pack from eighth place. The Belgian didn't waste any time to take second position from his teammate, on lap two. The pace of the two leaders was relentless. They were on a different planet and pushed each other to the absolute maximum. Geerts got close, very close but just couldn't seal the deal. He lost out by... three tenths of a second. Vialle and Geerts shared points, but not the top step on the podium. Jago had to settle for second. Next to him on the box: teammate Thibault Benistant who finished third in race 2.
Geerts remains in the lead of the FIM World Championship with a six point advantage over Vialle.
#93 Jago Geerts
2nd overall - 1st in championship
"Of course I'm a little bit disappointed because I missed out on the win by three tenths of a second. I was right behind Vialle almost the entire race, but couldn't find that one spot to make the pass happen. It was a tough Grand Prix on a rough track and the heat didn't make in any easier. Anyway, I'm happy with my riding, my pace and especially with my physical shape. I kept pushing until the end. So, second overall is okay. I didn't gain any points on Vialle, but I didn't lose any points either."
#198 Thibault Benistant
3rd overall - 11th in championship
"Two holeshots and my first podium of the year. I'm quite happy with my weekend. I have come close a couple times this year, finally I got it done. It was difficult to come back after my knee injury. But slowly I'm getting closer to my best form. I'm not hundred percent yet. I managed my races pretty well today. Not easy with the heat and the rough track. I'm really happy with my starts. We found some solutions and finally I got those holeshots."
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam)
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:08.862
3. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +0:40.731
4. Mikkel Haarup (Den/Kaw) +0:47.756
5. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) +0:51.807
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM)
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) +0:00.339
3. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +0:39.202
4. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) +0:40.766
5. Isak Gifting (Swe/KTM) +0:56.241
1. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 47
2. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 47
3. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 40
4. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) 34
5. Mikkel Haarup (Den/Kaw) 33
Championship classification (8/20)
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 338
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 332
3. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) 244
4. Mikkel Haarup (Den/Kaw) 244
5. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) 233
11. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 153
Next race: May 29, GP9 Arroyomolinos (Spa)