Benistant on his first GP overall as Geerts gets red plate back
Round 11 of the FIM World Championship, in Germany, was a huge success for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team. Thibault Beninstant celebrated his maiden GP victory in Teutschenthal, while Jago Geerts – second overall – recaptured the championship lead.
The Talkessel Circuit in Teutschenthal has been part of the World Championship since 1971, when Joël Robert won the Grand Prix 250cc. The hardpack track is a familiar place for most riders. Thibault Benistant and Jago Geerts got a good gate pick, after finishing second and third in the qualifying race on Saturday.
Benistant got off to a flying start on his YZ250FM in race 1. The French teenager was right behind his compatriot Vialle in the first turn. Geerts on the other hand, made a shifting mistake at the gate. Luckily, he was able to make up many places in the first turn (6th). While Benistant was all over the back of Vialle, Geerts moved smoothly past Adamo, Längenfelder and Pancar into third place. The Belgian immediately went after his teammate. He got to Benistant fairly quickly, but struggled to find some good, new lines to pass him. After several laps of trying, Geerts got the best over his teammate in lap 10.
While Benistant could not challenge the frontrunners, Geerts managed to close the gap on Vialle. Jago looked ready to strike in the ultimate lap when the Frenchman made a small mistake, but the Belgian came nine tenths of a second short to pass him.
Eight point advantage
Benistant got another great start in the moto 2. The Frenchman was second in the first turn. Again, right behind Vialle. Thibault didn’t waste time. He immediately took over the lead from his compatriot and set a fast pace. Vialle and Geerts, who had moved up to third place after a nice pass on Adamo, were put to the test.
Geerts was handed second place in lap 5, when Vialle suffered a technical issue. However, the Belgian was not feeling very comfortable on the fast and treacherous track and decided to secure his second place. And Benistant? He was on a roll and took his first ever GP win. Geerts finished second and recaptured the championship lead. The Belgian now has an eight point advantage on Vialle.
#93 Jago Geerts
2nd overall – 1st in championship
“I’m really happy with my second place, because I didn’t feel comfortable on this sketchy track the entire weekend. In the qualifying race I was struggling a lot with the track. My first race was surprisingly better. Although, I was annoyed with myself after a shifting mistake in the start. I managed to come back strong, but run out of time to pass Vialle in the last lap. A bummer. In race 2 I didn’t feel at ease at all and decided to avoid unnecessary risks and to settle for second place. It’s nice to get the red plate back, but it’s still a long way to go.”
#198 Thibault Benistant
1st overall – 7th in championship
“I’m over the moon. I was waiting for this win for a long time. I knew I could do it, but Geerts and Vialle are performing on a really high level lately. Finally I made it happen. In the first moto I was feeling a bit tight, but my second moto was almost perfect. Good start, quickly in the lead, a steady pace, a nice gap and controlling the race. I really enjoyed playing with the track. I’m so proud. It was tough to come back after my knee injury, but I worked really hard. Thanks to the people who did the rehab with me, who believed in me. A big thanks also to the team, to Yamaha. They are incredible.”
Words and pic: Yamaha Racing