British hero runs 3-1 to sign off on top
Ben Watson (Monster Energy Yamaha) produced the stand-out performance of his career to win the second moto and take the MX2 overall at the MXGP of Garda Trentino, the 17th and final round of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship.
His team-mate Jago Geerts holeshot but the British rider was in the lead within two corners and he led every lap on his way to an epic victory but it was by no means a cakewalk for Watson who had to soak up relentless pressure from Geerts.
Lap after lap the pair circulated with the gap hovering around one second as Watson fought off repeated attacks until, with eight minutes left on the clock, the Belgian tried to carry too much speed through a right-hand turn and hit the exit rut which threw him hard into a banking.
With Geerts pulling out, the chase was picked up by Jed Beaton (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and with two laps to go the Aussie had reduced Watson’s lead to less than a second but the Brit – who moves to the Yamaha Factory MXGP team next season – held on to sign off from his MX2 career on a high.
“What a way to end my [MX2] career,” said Watson. “I can’t believe it. I took an amazing start and then put in a solid race. I’m so happy for the team and I want to say a huge thank you to the whole of the Monster Energy Yamaha team. It’s been an amazing three years.”
Isak Gifting (Diga Procross GASGAS) worked his way through to third ahead of Maxime Renaux (Yamaha SM Action) with champion Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) overcoming three falls – including a crash at the first turn – for fifth to take second overall from Renaux who also secured third in the championship.
Conrad Mewse put in a strong performance for seventh and Josh Gilbert (PAR Homes RFX Husqvarna) also signed off well with a rock-solid 12th.