Battling Brit ends MX2 career on top of the box
British hero Ben Watson (Monster Energy Yamaha) was understandably delighted at taking the overall win in his final MX2 GP before moving up to Yamaha’s factory MXGP team in 2021.
Ben was third in the opening moto at yesterday’s MXGP of Garda Trentino – the final round of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship – before soaking up race-long pressure to take the win and overall second time out.
“I still can’t believe it,” he said. “I want to say I didn’t expect it but I kind of did because I knew I could do it – but sometimes even when you know you can do it, things don’t work out but this time it did and it is just really incredible.
“In the second race I got off to a really good start, I came around the first turn in the lead and I just put my head down and tried to control it to the end. What a way to end my MX2 career.
“I just want to say how grateful I am to Yamaha and my team at Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 and the three years I was there – everything they put in, I am really thankful.”
For the first 22 minutes of the 30-minute plus two lap moto Watson was put under constant pressure by his team-mate Jago Geerts – the MX2 world vice-champ – until the Belgian crashed hard.
“I’m really disappointed to end my season with an injury but it’s racing and things like this can happen,” said Geerts. “Now, I will take some rest and focus on my recovery before starting my winter training and testing for the 2021 season.
“Although we wanted to win the championship this year, second overall is not so bad after some bad luck and crashes. I want to congratulate my team-mate Ben on his GP win and wish him the best for his move up to the MXGP class. Next year we hope to come back stronger and fight for the gold plate again.”
Geerts’ crash ended his team’s hopes of another 1-2 finish but Maxime Renaux (Yamaha SM Action) made sure there was a second Yamaha rider on the podium with his 2-4 scores good enough for third on the day.
“It was a great season for me and the team,” said the Frenchman. “We made a lot of progress since last year. I got my first overall in Faenza and that was my first really big achievement.
“This year it was my goal to be as consistent as possible to fight for the championship and this year I managed to do that. It’s really good for the team and also for me. The main goal was to be on the podium overall and we managed to do it.”