An eventful 15th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Pietramurata, Italy, saw Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts secure second overall after two contrasting races. At the same time, Maxime Renaux salvaged enough points to round out the top-five. As a result, Geerts has strengthened his place in the championship, which is currently second position - 16-points clear of the rider in third and 87-points shy of the leader, Renaux.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team returned to the hard-packed, tight and compact Ciclamino circuit for the second of three back-to-back races to take place in one week, excited for another day of thrilling MX2 action.
Geerts made a customary fast start to the opening race and latched onto the back of the defending champion Tom Vialle. As the pair pushed each other, their pace was so rapid that they quickly left the rest of the pack far behind. Meanwhile, Renaux was again caught in a first-turn melee but was fortunate to keep his YZ250FM up on two-wheels.
After crossing the first sector outside of the top-20, the French ace had to brawl his way through the pack. Fighting his own battle through the undulating twists and turns of the circuit, it seemed the ‘959’ was the only rider able to make passes and he was impressive in his pursuit before another rider carelessly cut him off, causing him to crash.
As Renaux rejoined the race and fought back to seventh, Geerts was forced to settle for second at the flag.
Thibault Benistant was also caught in the first turn carnage. He freed himself from the first-turn entanglement but suffered some unbearable arm-pump as he tried to fight back, and eventually finished 15th.
In race two, Renaux rocketed to a top-three start as Geerts got squeezed to the back of the pack. Fired up and determined to prove his place at the top of the championship, the Renaux passed Vialle and briefly led the opening lap until the ‘28’ made an aggressive attempt to fight back and ended up taking both riders out.
Renaux rejoined the race on the cusp of the top-10 but was distracted by a piece of wire that was stuck in his rear wheel and whipping his leg throughout the race. Worried that the bike may have been damaged in the crash, the YZ250FM star tried to stay calm and collect as many points as possible. He ended up finishing fourth.
Meanwhile, Geerts bounced back from a challenging opening lap and made some outstanding passes despite the challenge of a slick and ‘hard-to-pass’ circuit. The fast-moving Belgian managed to cross the finish line in sixth, which secured him enough points to mount the second step of the podium.