- GP3 VALKENSWAARD – GEERTS ON THE PODIUM -
Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 rider Jago Geerts mounted the podium at the third round of the MX2 World Championship in Valkenswaard. The 18 year old Belgian only secured his spot on the box (7+2) after a phenomenal pass in the last 50 meters of the final race. His teammate Ben Watson finished sixth (5+5).
Geerts is known as one of the best sand riders in the MX2. The teenager already showed his talent on Saturday with a splendid third place in the qualifying race. Yet he could not take advantage of that good starting position in the first race. He was only ninth in the first corner and struggled to find a good rhythm on the gnarly track. The teenager moved up into seventh place after ten minutes, but crashed while chasing his teammate and lost one spot. Finally, he could come back to seventh place. Meanwhile, Watson had moved up to fourth place after passing Pootjes and Vialle. Unfortunately, the Briton made a mistake, went down and dropped back into seventh position. In the end he managed to gain two places, finishing in fifth.
Geerts started fifth in the second race and didn’t waste any time moving forward. Vialle and Jacobi were first on his ‘hit list’. Next victim: Olsen. The Belgian closed a big gap on the championship leader and was pushing the Dane a lot. Geerts acted like a raging bull and made an incredible pass on the ‘scrub jump’, in the last meters of the race. Geerts finished second, only one tenth of a second (!) in front of Olsen. A result that also brought him on the overall podium, his first one this season.
Watson had a mediocre start (ninth position) in the second race, but managed to gain three positions in the first three laps. At the end the Briton he could still pass Jacobi, for a fifth place in the race and sixth overall.
Watson is currently fifth in the championship standing, 14 points ahead of his teammate Geerts (7th).
#193 Jago Geerts
Third place overall
“I was really angry after the first race. I didn’t go to plan. Bad start, a crash, no rhythm. The second race was completely different. Nice start, good pace from the beginning till the end and attacking all the time. Even at the end. I really wanted to catch Olsen. It was all or nothing on the last jump. It was all. Second place and third overall. To be honest: I didn’t expect to be on the box after that terrible first race. This feels good. My first podium of 2019, also the first for our team. This is a boost for everybody in our team.”
#919 Ben Watson
Sixth place overall
“I’m quite happy about my riding, but my starts let me down today. If you want to fight for the podium, you need to be inside the top five in the first turn. The track is really fast. There is a minimal difference between the top riders, so it’s very difficult to make up ground. I know I have the speed of the top guys, I’m only lacking good starts. The cause of those poor starts? If I knew, I would solve it immediately. Everybody in the team is working really hard. Hopefully we will find the solution soon.”
“What a second race, what a last lap from Jago. Impressive. That’s the Geerts everybody wants to see. Full speed, aggressive, showing all of his talents. He was on a mission in that second race. A complete different rider compared to the first race. I was disappointed after that first race and we had a good talk between both motos. I’m proud of his reaction. This must be a boost for everybody at Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha.”
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM)
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:07.459
3. Henry Jacobi (Ger/Kaw) +0:16.197
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) +0:32.080
5. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:41.347
7. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +0:46.877
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM)
2. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) +0:05.031
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:05.188
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) +0:13.061
5. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:16.499
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 50
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 42
3. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) 36
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) 36
5. Henry Jacobi (Ger/Kaw) 35
6. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 32
World championship classification (3/19)
1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 136
2. Henry Jacobi (Ger/Kaw) 113
3. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) 107
4. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 100
5. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 95
7. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) 81
Next race: April 7, GP4 Pietramurata (Ita)
Images by Yamaha Racing (Bavo & CDS)