FIM Motocross World Championship in Pietramurata, Italy, was marked by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Thibault Benistant’s stunning return to form.

In just his second Grand Prix of 2022, the 19-year-old Frenchman narrowly missed the second step of the podium by a single point. He finished fifth and third in the championship races for fourth overall.

After five months off the bike, while recovering from knee surgery, Benistant defied expectation with an incredible flag-to-flag victory in the MX2 qualifying race. The success meant the 19-year-old would start the Grand Prix from Pole Position for the first time in his career. At the same time, Geerts’ Grand Prix got off to a turbulent start. The Championship Leader ended up qualifying 18th after an uncanny crash on lap 4.


Starting from pole position, Benistant got off to a top-three start in Race 1 but was shuffled back to fourth almost immediately by Andrea Adamo. After a fascinating battle that saw the duo switch positions three times, the Frenchman suffered the aftereffects of his time off and eventually faded back to fifth position.

“This weekend started really good because I was feeling really good with the bike on this track.” Said Thibault. “I managed to make my first pole position in MX2 with my first Qualifying Race win. In the first race, I made a little mistake in the first laps, and then after that I started to tighten up.”

“I needed to relax, and that cost me some places, but I still finished fifth, which was good. In the second race, I tried to attack Tom Vialle but I tightened up straight away, and again, I needed to relax and find my lines. It was nice to get my first top-three finish this year, and then to miss the overall podium by a point is disappointing but considering it’s only my second GP of the year, and with only one month on the bike, it’s not so bad.”