Benistant, Geerts and Elzinga discuss their German GP
A third place for Thibault Benistant, 22 important championship points for the returning Jago Geerts and also a solid comeback from Rick Elzinga. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team can look back on a successful Grand Prix of Germany.
In the ‘Talkessel’ in Teutschenthal, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team finally had three riders at the starting gate again. Rick Elzinga’s comeback (after a collarbone fracture) was planned, Jago Geerts’ comeback however was rather a surprise. On Thursday, the Belgian – who broke his wrist three weeks ago – got the green light from his hand surgeon. An opinion that was also followed by the FIM doctor.
On Saturday Geerts made progress every session: 19th in the free practice, 15th in the time practice and 13th in the qualifying race. Promising. Especially because the pain was not too bad. Thibault Benistant started like a rocket in the qualifying race, but after four laps he lost the lead in favour of Van De Moosdijk. A crash in lap 8 made him drop back to the fifth position. After a solid race, Elzinga crossed the finish in 9th place.
Geerts had a good start on his YZ250FM in the first race. The Belgian was fifth in the first turn with his teammate Benistant close behind him. Elzinga completely missed his start, made a crash in the first lap and had to start his catch-up race from the very last position. Finally he came back to P18.
In the front, Benistant was already fifth after one lap. After that, the Frenchman rode a fairly anonymous race. In the final part of the race he managed to move up one position after a gift (crash) from Van De Moosdijk. Meanwhile, Geerts pushed through the pain in his wrist and stayed in sixth position for a long time. Until – in lap 11 – he hit a big stone in a rut and crashed. Luckily without any physical damage. But he dropped back to 13th position.
Geerts also had a good start (fourth) in race 2. Benistant followed a little further (seventh), while Elzinga was blocked in the middle of the pack (16th). Despite his wrist injury Geerts managed very well to hold his own. He countered several attacks, but at the end he logically lost some positions. The vice world champion passed the finish in seventh position. An amazing performance. Benistant rode a smart race and gradually moved up to the third place. Enough for – also the third – place on the box. His sixth podium in nine Grand Prix this year. A nice statistic. Elzinga recovered well after a lesser start and managed to move up to P11.
Thanks to his third place, Benistant is now second in the world championship classification. The Frenchman is only thirteen points behind the new leader, Andrea Adamo. Geerts actually won 22 points in Teutschenthal. The Belgian is now fifth in the championship, 64 points behind Adamo.
#93 Jago Geerts
9th overall, 5th in championship
“Normally I was not riding in Teutschenthal, so I would have had zero points. Now I take 22 points home. So mission accomplished. Ninth place, 22 points: I really did not expect it considering the circumstances. The pain in my wrist was not so bad. At the end of the motos I had more problems but that is normal. I am really glad we took this decision to ride three weeks after my surgery. Thanks to everyone who helped me to get fit.”
#198 Thibault Benistant
3rd overall, 2nd in championship
“It was not my best day. I was riding much too tense. But, I am on the box, I took a lot of points for the championship and I am second in the world championship classification. Not bad at all. Why I was so tense? Well, maybe the problem is in my head. Saturday, I had that crash in the qualifying race, maybe that played tricks on me subconsciously. Now the most important is to avoid as much as possible the mistakes and crashes. Regularity I the key to success.”
#44 Rick Elzinga
15th overall, 13th in championship
“I have a good feeling about my comeback. The riding went rather good. I made some mistakes , but I think that is normal after an absence of one month. I only practiced with the bike three times. In the first moto my start was dramatic and I also had a big crash in the first lap. Nevertheless, I managed to move from P32 to P15. In the second moto my start was not good either. Moreover I had some problems with the front brake. So eleventh was not so bad.”
Words: Press Release
Image: Yamaha Racing