It was happy days under the Monster Energy Yamaha MX2 team awning after yesterday’s MXGP of Pietramurata where, for the first time in the team’s history, its riders filled the top two steps of the podium.
Belgian Jago Geerts led the way with his 5-1 finishes giving him the overall, just one point ahead of his British team-mate Ben Watson who ran 4-2 for second.
“The first heat I had to come from outside of the top-10 after making a small mistake on the opening lap but my riding felt good although it was pretty difficult to pass,” said Geerts. “In the second heat I took the holeshot and I am really happy for that. Ben chased me for the whole moto but in the end I could win so I am really happy with the day and to take my sixth victory of the season.”
It was a case of so near, yet so far for Watson who claimed a career-first overall GP win in Lommel at the end of October.
“I really want to congratulate the whole team,” said Watson. “They work really hard and it’s really nice for me and Jago to give them a 1-2 on the podium.
“It is a little bit difficult to pass out there but I have been feeling really good on the bike. I had a mediocre start in the first race but I came through good and then in the second one I took a good start and it’s always a nice race when you can battle with your team-mate up front. I finished second but I am really happy with second overall.”
Team boss and ’90s motocross legend Marnicq Bervoets was understandably delighted with the result.
“First and second,” he said, “that’s a milestone for us! I’m so proud of the boys, of everybody in our team. Both Jago and Ben showed a lot of perseverance in the first race. They both came back from outside the top-10. A hell of a job on this track.
“The second race was phenomenal. A battle between two team-mates for the overall victory. I was quaking in my boots. On the one hand proud, on the other hand scared that they would take each other out. What a great day!”