Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rider Jago Geerts enjoyed a perfect weekend at round 6 of the FIM World Championship in Kegums, Latvia. The Belgian dominated both motos and recaptured the red plate. Teammate Thibault Benistant finished fifth overall.
Since 2005, when Kegums organized its first Grand Prix in MX3, the Zelta Zirgs track has grown to become a household name in the FIM world championship. The Latvian circuit hosted 14 GP's before this weekend and the Motocross of Nations in 2014. On two occasions Jago Geerts was on top of the box in Kegums, twice in 2020. The sandy track is without any doubt one of his favourites. The Belgian immediately showed his speed and skills on Saturday in the qualifying race, which he dominated from beginning until the end. His fourth pole of the season. Teammate Thibault Benistant came home in 11th place.
The weather changed completely on Sunday. No more sun. Instead: rain and only nine degrees. Both Monster Energy Yamaha Factory riders got a flying start in the first race with Geerts right behind Längenfelder in second place and Benistant in fifth. Jago decided not to push too hard in the beginning, because the track was really slippery and tricky. Until lap 6, when he flexed his muscles and passed Längenfelder. Geerts was followed by a strong Horgmo. The Norvegian put a lot of pressure on Jago, but the Belgian handled the threat well and won the race.
In the meantime, Benistant also showed his skills on the Latvian track. He quickly moved up to fourth place when Vialle crashed. The championship leader tried to cling to him, but Benistant wouldn't let that happen. With four laps to go the French teenager went - successfully - for Längenfelder's third place.
Another good start from Geerts in race 2 (third in the first turn), while Benistant was buried in 18th place. The former European champion quickly moved up to 12th place, but got stuck in that position a little too long. At the end, the French teenager was able to gain two more spots to finish tenth and fifth overall. In front Jago was held up by Guadagnini. When he managed to pass the Italian in lap 3, leader Horgmo had already six second gap. Geerts didn't rush things and gradually narrowed the gap. Five seconds, four seconds,... On lap 11 the Belgian was all over the back of Horgmo. It was never a question of whether he would pass the Norwegian, but when? The answer: in lap 12. Geerts took the lead, made a gap and was in full control until the end. A perfect day for the Belgian, who turned 22 earlier this week. His 12th GP win, the 20th for the Belgian based team. Geerts also recaptured the red plate. Jago is tied on points with Vialle (both 244), but gets the red plate because he has more race wins (six versus four for Vialle).
#93 Jago Geerts
1st overall - 1st in championship
"A perfect weekend. Win in the qualifying race and a double moto win. Due to the rain the track was treacherous on Sunday. That's why I decided not to take too many risks in the beginning, when the circuit was really slippery. A good plan. I also wanted to get some points back on Vialle. That turned out well. I even got the red plate back. That's not really important at this moment, because it's still a long way to go. But it's always nice to have the red plate on my bike."
#198 Thibault Benistant
5th overall - 13th in championship
"Third in the first race, fifth overall. Not bad at all, considering my starting position (11th). I'm slowly getting back to my best form. I still need some more races to find a good rhythm and a higher speed. Don't forget this is only my third Grand Prix after my knee injury, that kept me off the bike for a long while. I'm working hard to come back to my best level. Soon, all that work will pay off and I will be able to fight for the podium again."
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam)
2. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) +0:05.084
3. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +0:11.784
4. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) +0:18.674
5. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:46.816
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam)
2. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) +0:03.810
3. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) +0:05.519
4. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) +0:20.643
5. Mattia Guadagnini (Ita/Gas) +0:22.539
10. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) +0:52.480
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 50
2. Kevin Horgmo (Nor/Kaw) 40
3. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 36
4. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) 31
5. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 31
Championship classification (6/20)
1. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 244
2. Tom Vialle (Fra/KTM) 244
3. Simon Längenfelder (Ger/Gas) 181
4. Kay de Wolf (Ned/Hus) 181
5. Mikkel Haarup (Den/Kaw) 181
13. THIBAULT BENISTANT (Fra/Yam) 94