Watson: I’m happy I made another step forward
Ben Watson took his first ever podium in a moto on the rain affected track in Agueda, Portugal. Unfortunately, the Briton just missed the overall podium by… 0,172 second. Vsevolod Brylyakov confirmed his good form from last week with a sixth place. Jago Geerts suffered a sprained ankle, but managed to take some important championship points.
The GP of Portugal, on a physically very demanding track after the rainfall of the last two weeks, didn’t start so well for Kemea Yamaha. Jago Geerts twisted his ankle in free practice on Saturday and was in doubt for Sunday. But the 17-year-old Belgian fought off the pain and finished 18th overall (19+14).
Deep, long and gnarly ruts: it didn’t seem to bother Ben Watson. He managed to guide his YZ250F from outside of the top 10 up into fifth place. His second moto was even better. After a nice battle with his teammate Brylyakov, the Briton kept on charging and passed world champion Pauls Jonass en Jed Beaton for third place. Watson was unleashed and chased Thomas Kjer Olsen till the end, but missed the second place (and an overall podium) by a hair (0,172 seconds). The third time this year that a Kemea Yamaha rider finished just outside the top three overall.
Finally, Vsevolod Brylyakov showed that his fourth place in Italy last week wasn’t a fluke. The Russian started well in the first race, but had to settle for eight after goggle issues. Just like last week Brylyakov saved the best for last. His second moto was impressive with a fifth place.
#18 Vsevolod Brylyakov
|“The track was very demanding with all those deep ruts. It was really difficult in the beginning. But I a rode a good qualifying race en two solid motos. Although, the first moto could have been a bit better. I was charging forward, when I got goggle issues. I couldn’t see at all with the mud and had to set back. My second moto was pretty good. I made a couple of mistakes in line choices, but found my way back to fifth place. Sixth overall and sixth in the championship. Not bad at all. I’m looking forward to the next GP, my home GP in Russia.”
#193 Jago Geerts
|“I twisted my left ankle in free practice on Saturday. Very painful, especially on this difficult track, with a lot of deep ruts. After the warm up on Sunday I wasn’t sure if I could line up to race, because I couldn’t use my foot in left corners. But I gave it a shot and tried to take as many points as possible. It was painful, but I managed to take some points. If I didn’t have that small crash in the second moto, I could have finished inside the top 10. Tomorrow (Monday) I’m going to visit my doctor. But I’m confident that I will be fit again for the GP of Russia.”
#919 Ben Watson
|“My riding was good. Even better than last week. It was a nice Grand Prix, with my first podium in a moto. That’s special, of course. Unfortunately, I just missed the overall podium. I knew I had to pass Olsen in the second moto. I was putting a lot of pressure on him and attacked him in the last corner, but I came up short… one tenth of a second. That’s a bit of a bummer. Anyway, I’m happy that I made another step forward. The bike works good and the riding is good.”
|“Watson and Brylyakov were even better than last week in Arco. They are improving week by week. Watson is very solid. He’s already a top five guy, and with a bit of luck he will be a top three guy. He took his first podium in a moto. That’s very promising. Brylyakov was aggressive, without going over his limit. Just like last week, his second moto was his best race. Let’s hope that he can continue to improve. In two weeks time we travel to Russia, his home GP. That may be an extra boost. Geerts suffered a sprained ankle on Saturday. He was in pain, but decided to race and took some vital points. He showed a lot of character.”
Words: Kemea Yamaha Pic: CDS Images