Jago Geerts (Monster Energy Yamaha) took victory in the second MX2 moto at today’s MXGP of Pietramurata to secure the overall – his second in a row and sixth of the season – but the final result was in doubt until the chequered flag with Britain’s Ben Watson (Monster Energy Yamaha) and Aussie Jed Beaton (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) also in the mix.
Newly-crowned world champion Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) rolled up behind the gate with a gold #1 on his bike but his race effectively ended on the start straight when contact with another rider bent his gearshift. The Frenchman pitted for repairs but lost so much time that he finished out of the points.
“I’m really happy with the day,” said Geerts. “The first race I had a pretty good start but made a small mistake on the second lap and came back to fifth.
“In the second heat I really wanted to take the holeshot and I did and then I rode a good pace all moto. Ben was pushing me but I could keep it under control.”
The overall win was decided by two separate battles. In the closing stages Beaton lay fourth and – with Geerts leading Watson – needed to pass Thibault Benistant (Hutten Metaal Yamaha) to take over on the top step of the podium while Watson had to pass Geerts.
The outcome of both duels was up in the air with Beaton closing on Benistant and Watson narrowing the gap to Geerts but despite constant pressure the positions didn’t change with Watson taking second in the race and on the day following a tie-break with Beaton.
A 3-5 card gave Maxime Renaux (Yamaha SM Action) fourth ahead of Benistant who ran 7-3 for fifth in just the third GP of his career.
Conrad Mewse (Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee) ended the race in 10th for 16th overall, three places behind his team-mate Bas Vaessen. Josh Gilbert (PAR Homes RFX Husqvarna) started well and was just outside the top-10 when he crashed out on lap nine.