Words: Yamaha

Kemea Yamaha has been living a dream lately. Two weeks ago Ben Watson took his first ever GP podium (third place) in Russia. This weekend it was Jago Geerts’ turn to step on the GP podium for the very first time. The Belgian teenager, a rookie in the world championship MX2, finished second (4+3 in motos) in Kegums, Latvia. 

The Zelta Zirgs track in Kegums, a 40 minutes drive from the Latvian capital Riga, is known as a sandy and technical circuit. Combined with hot and sunny conditions (30 degrees) the riders faced a brutal Grand Prix.
The Kemea Yamaha boys started well on Saturday with a second (Watson) and fifth place (Geerts) in the qualifying race. Unfortunately the Kemea riders couldn’t capitalize their great starting positions in the first moto. Watson was eight at the exit of turn one, Geerts only thirteenth. The Belgian teenager rode very aggressive in the beginning of the moto, passed his teammate and moved up to fifth position after only four laps. Meanwhile Watson, who suffered from a wrist injury, found a good rhythm and also moved up a couple of places, following his younger teammate. Geerts finished fourth after a great battle with Jacobi. Watson also managed to pass the German at the end of the moto, finishing in fifth position.

The Kemea riders took a blistering start on their YZ250F in the second moto with Geerts in second and Watson in third position. After, only one rider could pass both Yamaha’s: Thomas Kjer Olsen, the later winner of the GP. At the end of the second moto Geerts was pushing hard on leader Prado and Olsen. The teenager came very close, but made a small mistake and finished in third position. Good for a second place overall! Watson finished fourth in the second moto and fifth overall.

Team owner Hans Corvers was very pleased with the results of his riders. “This is incredible. Both riders in top five: that was our plan for 2019. This is of course fantastic. We have to enjoy this to the fullest, but we need to stay humble. Next weekend we go to Teutschenthal, a completely different track. In Germany, we have to start from zero again.”

#193 Jago Geerts
Second place overall

“On the podium, so soon… This is crazy. It’s going fast for me this season, veryfast. I didn’t expect it (being on the podium) to happen so soon. But of course, when you get the chance, you have to take it. I like this track very much. After the qualifying race on Saturday I knew that a good result was possible. In the first moto I had to work hard after a poor start. My start was much better in the second moto. That made the job a lot easier. At the end, I even battled with Prado and Olsen for victory. A big thanks for the whole team for all the hard work and the great bike.”

#919 Ben Watson
Fifth place overall

“I injured my wrist during the Dutch Masters in Mill last week. I couldn’t ride my bike all week long and didn’t really know what to expect in Latvia. My wrist was quite painful, but that didn’t really slow me down. It was tough. I also felt a bit sick at the beginning of the first moto, but I was consistent all weekend long. Of course, I had a taste of the podium in Russia and wanted more of it. But considering the injury, I have to be happy with my fifth place this weekend. This GP learned me that riding doesn’t make the injury worse. So I can start riding the bike again during the week.”

Marnicq Bervoets
Team manager

“What a fantastic day for Kemea Yamaha. Geerts really impressed me today. So good, so fast, so aggressive, so cool. As if he’s doing this, week in, week out. Jago was already showing great speed in the Dutch Masters. But doing the same in a Grand Prix is a different story, because there’s allot more competition. He was very strong today, physically and mentally. We know that Kegums is one of his favorite tracks. Next is Teutschenthal: hard pack. That’s another challenge. About Watson: he did a great job, considering his wrist injury. Ben was riding in pain. Nevertheless, he did put in two solid races, finishing fifth overall. Nice.”

Words: Yamaha
Pic: Shot by Bavo
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