Ben Watsons collection of fourth places is growing every weekend. For the sixth time this season the Kemea Yamaha Official MX2-rider finished fourth overall. This time in round 13 of the MX2 World Championship, in Semarang, Indonesia. Anthony Rodriguez finished sixth overall – his best ever – after two solid races. Jago Geerts sustained an ankle injury and had to withdraw from the second moto.
The world championship traveled from one Indonesian island to another. One week after the Grand Prix in Pangkal Pinang (on the island of Bangka) the paddock shifted to Semarang (on the island of Java), on a brand new circuit. A hard pack track on a red clay base, fast and slick, with a lot of jumps. Beside a completely new track the riders also had to face a burning heat, with temperatures close to 40 degrees.
Ben Watson had a convincing start in the first moto, behind Jonass and Prado. The Briton couldn’t keep up the pace of the two leaders and rode a lonesome but very solid race in third position. Anthony Rodriguez took a great start on his YZ250F, in fifth position, but dropped to seventh in the first lap. The Venezuelan kept cool and fought back. After he passed Vaesen and Sterry A Rod was involved in an intense battle with Cervellin for fourth position. The Kemea rider was clearly faster and tried everything in his power to pass, but the Italian countered every attack. Rodriguez kept pushing and finally got his reward: a pass and a fantastic fourth place. Jago Geerts started in eighth position an dropped two more places, after a small crash at the end of the moto.
Watson didn’t start that well in the second moto (seventh), but moved up to fourth position after only two laps. The Briton came under big pressure from Olsen. He withstood the first attacks, but couldn’t hold on to his fourth place and had to settle for fifth. Rodriguez got a good start again in fifth and even moved up to fourth place in the first lap. The Venezuelan rode a very consistent race, with only Watson, Olsen and Jonass able to pass him. No Geerts at the start of the second moto. The Belgian teenager crashed in the sighting lap and twisted his ankle again. Geerts could barely walk and was forced to withdraw from the second moto.
Watson gained eight points on Olsen, who is third in the world championship standings. The Briton is now only ten points behind the Dane. Geerts remains seventh, white Rodriguez has moved up four positions and is now nineteenth.
#919 Ben Watson
“When I look at the result and the points I’m gaining in the championship, I can’t complain. But I’m a bit disappointed about my riding this weekend. It has been the first time since long that I didn’t feel comfortable and safe on the track. Last weekend I felt the strongest of the pack, this weekend I was struggling from the first session. I don’t really feel I deserve a fourth place, riding the way I did. Next up is Loket, a track I really like.”
#127 Anthony Rodriguez
“Fourth in the first moto, sixth overall: this is a good step forward. I only wish that I was a bit fitter for the second race. I had to work really hard in the first race. I was stuck behind Cervellin. It was really difficult to pass on this track. I tried maybe six or seven times. Finally, I managed to pass him and take that fourth place. But it did cost me a lot of energy. Energy that I missed in the second race. My shoulder injury didn’t bother me a lot during the race, because of the adrenaline. It hurts more after the race.”
#193 Jago Geerts
“I crashed on a wet spot during the sighting lap of the second moto and hurt my ankle. The same injury as earlier in the season. I was in a lot of pain, could barely walk. Ik had no other option then to withdraw. A big disappointment. I hope to be fit for next weekend, for the last round of the Dutch Masters in Lichtenvoorde.”
“To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed. Fourth. Again. The seventh time already this season. One time with Brylyakov, six times with Watson now. Ben was struggling with the track all weekend long. Still, he managed to finish fourth and gain points on Olsen in the championship. A good result on a bad day. So, we can’t complain. I’m very pleased with the results of Rodriguez. He has a great mentality, makes progression week by week and that resulted in two strong motos. Geerts didn’t feel so comfortable on this track. Understandable, as this is his rookie season. Unfortunately, he crashed in the sighting lap of the second and hurt his ankle again. That’s a bummer.”