- READY TO RUMBLE - GP1 - Matterley Basin (GB) - Preview -
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team is ready to rumble at the opening round of the FIM World Championship MX2, this weekend in Matterley Basin. The team, based in Belgium, will line up the same riders as in 2019: Jago Geerts and Ben Watson, both aiming for a top three position or even more in the world championship.
For the first time since 2014, Yamaha Motor Europe will enter a full factory team into the FIM World Championship MX2. That's why the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 Team has been renamed the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team for the 2020 campaign. Concerning the riders, nothing has changed. Jago Geerts and Ben Watson will be steering the YZ250FM for a third consecutive season.
Jago Geerts finished the 2019 campaign in third position and the talented teenager is one of the favourites for the world title this year. The 19-year-old Belgian can look back on a good preseason with a victory in Riola Sardo and two decent races in Hawkstone Park and Lacapelle-Marival.
Ben Watson, who will turn 23 in June, enters his last season in MX2 due to the age restriction. The Briton had a small setback and missed a few weeks on the bike because of a fractured hand. Watson tested his strength at the beginning of this week and decided to race in front of his home crowd in Matterley Basin.
At a crossroads
"2020 will be our first season as a full factory team. A big honour and a nice reward for all the work in recent years", says team owner Hans Corvers. "It's also another step in the right direction. Third in 2016 with Paturel, fifth with Paturel in 2017, fourth with Watson in 2018 and third with Geerts in 2019. Each year we achieved our goals. We are at a crossroads now. We want more. At least a podium finish. But to be honest: we want to aim for the top spot. You need to show ambition. Jago as well as Ben has the popential to fight for the world title."
#193 Jago Geerts
Third place MX2 2019
"I had a good winter, a lot of hours on the bike and some good preseason races. I'm ready to start the world championship. 2019 was really good, finishing third in my second year in MX2. But I want to do even better in 2020. Not an easy job. With Prado gone, there are a lot of riders who can win. It will be very important to be consistent the whole year and to stay injury free. It's nice to start the world championship in Matterley Basin, a track with a lot of nice jumps. Unfortunately, the weather is not good, so we might face a mud race. In that case, the start will be very important."
#919 Ben Watson
Tenth place MX2 2019
"There's no better place to start the world championship than Matterley Basin, in front of a big home crowd. It's one of the most natural tracks on the calendar. I'm really looking forward to racing there, even in bad weather conditions. I had a small hiccup a few weeks ago and missed some preseason races because of a hand injury. Not ideal, but I'm still feeling positive heading to Matterley Basin. My ambition this year? To be honest, I prefer to keep my goals to myself. I want to be consistent and have fun. Like in 2018. Not like last season, when I was putting to much pressure on myself. "
Images by @ yamahaofficialracing.com / @shotbybavo / Redeye