Geerts and Bonacorsi head to Matterley Basin
Storm Eunice left a trail of devastation in Great Britain last weekend. Also in Matterley Basin, pushing the start of the FIM World Championship by one week. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team returns to Winchester and is aiming for a hat-trick, after Jago Geerts winning at Matterley Basin in 2020 and Maxime Renaux in 2021.
After the passage of Eunice – the worst storm in decades in Great Britain – Infront Moto Racing and the British organizer had no choice but to postpone the Grand Prix last Saturday. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team riders immediately returned to mainland Europe to further prepare for the new start of the FIM World Championship.
A world championship where the ambitions of the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team are once again sky-high. Logical after 2021, in which the team achieved enormous success: world title with Maxime Renaux, silver medal with Jago Geerts, manufacturers’ world title and nine GP victories. It is almost impossible to repeat such an exceptional year, but the main goal remains the same: to win the world title again.
Maxime Renaux made the switch to MXGP, which means that the team will start 2022 with two riders: Jago Geerts and Thibault Benistant. All eyes are now on Geerts. The 21-year-old Belgian is one of the most successful riders in the current MX2 class. He has already won ten Grand Prix and has finished on the box in the lightest class in the past three years: third in 2019, second in 2020 and runner-up again in 2021. In his fifth season for Yamaha, Geerts has only one goal in mind: to become world champion.
The Belgian will not be accompanied by team mate Benistant in Matterley Basin. The 19-year-old Frenchman is still recovering from an operation on his knee in November and is still awaiting the green light from his doctors. Benistant will be replaced by Andrea Bonacorsi this weekend. The 18-year-old Italian – European 125cc champion in 2020 – normally competes for the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Team in the EMX250, but now gets the chance to make his debut in MX2.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team has many fond memories of Matterley Basin. In 2020 Jago Geerts took the win in the GP of Great Britain, the first of his career. And last season Maxime Renaux was the best in Matterley. Wondering if we can make it a hat-trick this weekend…
After two tough seasons of restrictions – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the FIM Motocross World Championship returns to a two-day format. The riders will again have six sessions, including a qualifying race on Saturday, to improve their setup.
#93 Jago Geerts
Second in MX2 2021
“Last week I returned to Belgium immediately after the GP was postponed. That was not too bad for me, because I was struggling with a small injury. With that extra week, the problem is now completely gone. It was a bit difficult withe the bad weather in Belgium last week, so I haven’t been able to train that much. Nothing to worry about. After an intense winter preparation I feel completely ready for the start of the World Championship. My goal is clear this year: after a third and two second places, I finally want to take the world title in 2022.”
#35 Andrea Bonacorsi
Fourth in EMX250 2021
“Postponing the Grand Prix last weekend didn’t affect my training schedule much. However, the weather in the Netherlands, where my team is based, was very bad. That’s why I went to France for two days to ride the bike. I feel like I’m ready. I’m really looking forward to my MX2 debut, something I’ve always dreamed of ever since I was a kid. Now it is a dream come true. In Matterley Basin, one of my favorite circuits. My goal? Above all, gain a lot of experience.”
Pic: Shot by Bavo