Geerts, Benistant and Elzinga talk Arco di Trento
This weekend the winning streak of the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team came to an end in Pietramurata. Jago Geerts won the first moto, but he had to deal with a lot of bad luck in moto 2. Nevertheless, the championship leader was third on the box after an impressive catch-up race. Thibault Benistant finished sixth, Rick Elzinga eleventh.
The Crossodromo Ciclamino in Pietramurata – beautifully situated in the shadow of the Dolomites – has been a familiar venue in the FIM World Championship since 1987. This weekend the track hosted a Grand Prix for the nineteenth time. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2-riders immediately felt comfortable on the small but curvy track. Even if Jago Geerts had a small crash in the last lap of the qualifying race which dropped him from the second to the fourth place. Thibault Benistant finished in second place, while Rick Elzinga – after a crash in the first lap – moved up from the 25th to the 10th place.
Strong, the Dutchman’s catch-up race on Saturday. Because if something is extremely difficult in Pietramurata, it is passing. So, a good start is very important. And Geerts – one of the most experienced riders in MX2 – knows that better than anyone. The championship leader took the holeshot in the first moto, closely followed by Liam Everts. His young compatriot kept putting pressure the entire race, but Jago did not budge. He made no mistakes and took his fourth race win of the season.
Benistant moved quickly from fifth to third place. The Frenchman started chasing and attacking Everts, but he did not succeed to take the second place. On the contrary, half way the race Thibault lost a place in favour of Adamo, and finally crossed the finish in fourth position. After a difficult start (16th), Elzinga was again forced to do a catch-up race. This time he was 12th.
Bad luck for Geerts
No holeshot for Geerts in the second moto. Even far from it. The vice world champion was blocked and was tenth in the first turn. A few turns later – after some nice passing moves – he was already fifth. But then things went wrong. Geerts came in contact with Adamo and crashed. He got up quickly, but again another rider hit him. Another crash and he had to fight back from the 29th position. And he did! Geerts achieved a superb catch-up race: from P29 to P7. Just enough for a – well deserved – podium.
Benistant had a good start (2nd) but could not put pressure on the leader, Längenfelder. On the contrary, Thibault couldn’t find his usual rhythm and fell back to the fifth position. Elzinga missed his start after a lot of wrangling in the middle of the pack. For the third time this weekend, the Dutchman was forced to chase. And he did very well, from P25 to P11.
Geerts stays in the lead of the world championship. The Belgian has an advance of 22 points on Adamo, who is now second in front of Benistant. Elzinga is 11th.
#93 Jago Geerts
3rd overall, 1st in World Championship
“A Grand Prix with two completely different motos. In the first moto I took the holeshot and I could ride my own pace. The track was tricky and slippery, a mistake was therefore easily made. But I stayed focused till the end. In the second moto my start was not so good, but I quickly moved to place five. Then I was hit twice by another rider. Frustrating. Still, I came back from almost last to P7. Enough for a spot on the box. So, I can only be satisfied about my riding.”
#198 Thibault Benistant
6th overall, 3rd in World Championship
“Clearly not the weekend I had in mind. For sure not after the nice win last weekend in Switzerland. I was in front in the two motos but at no time I could fight for the win. It was hard to handle, especially mentally. I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike and I didn’t enjoy it. I have to accept it even if it is not easy. But I don’t have to dramatize either. Ending fourth and fifth on a bad day: it isn’t so bad. Keep on working hard and do better in Portugal: that’s the goal now.”
#44 Rick Elzinga
11th overall, 11th in World Championship
“For me the Grand Prix in Pietramurata was one of chasing-up. In the qualifying race, I was sixth after the start but after half a lap I was dragged into a crash. I came back from P25 to P10. In the first moto my start was not too bad, but in the beginning my riding was really lousy. I fell back into place 20 but then I managed to move up to place 12. The second moto really beats everything: I had a pretty good start, but suddenly someone got stuck with his handlebar in my rear wheel. Again I had to start chasing: from last to P11. My riding was pretty good but that does not show in a good result.”
Words: Press Release
Image: Full Spectrum Media