Jago Geerts showed his incredible talent again in round ten of the world championship, in Saint-Jean d’Angély, France. The Belgian teenager finished fourth overall on the hard-pack track after an impressive second place in the second moto. Ben Watson took two bad starts and had to work very hard to finish sixth overall. Anthony Rodriguez had to withdraw after he sustained an ankle injury during free practice.
Overnight rain made the hard-pack track a lot rougher and more tricky on Sunday. No problem for Jago Geerts. The deeper the ruts and the more difficult the track, the better for the Belgian teenager. Geerts had a good start (seventh) in front of a big and enthusiastic French crowd and made progression throughout the race after passing Cervellin and Jacobi. On his way to fifth place Geerts even set the fastest lap of the race. Ben Watson was, again, very unfortunate in the start. The Briton was wiped out in the first straight and had to fight back from outside top 25. Watson recovered well, passing a lot of opponents to finish ninth.
Geerts took a blistering start in the second moto, with only Prado in front of him. The Kemea youngster was not impressed at all, stayed cool and followed the Spaniard all race long, resulting in a second place. His best ever result in a moto. But not enough to finish on the overall podium as he did in Latvia. In the world championship standings Geerts is now sixth. Watson was only 14th in the first corner and had to work hard again. The Briton was making progress throughout the field – together with world championship leader Pauls Jonass – lap by lap and finished seventh in the second moto and sixth overall.
No Anthony Rodriguez in action on Sunday. The Venezuelan, who is replacing the injured Vsevolod Brylyakov since the GP in Teutschenthal, twisted his right ankle during free practice on Saturday and was forced to withdraw on Sunday. Rodriguez is expected to be back on his YZ250F in Ottobiano, next weekend.
We are now the halfway point of the season. With two GP-podiums (Watson in Russia and Geerts in Latvia) and two riders in the top ten of the world championship classification (Watson on four, Geerts on six) Kemea Yamaha can look back on a strong first half of the season. Only bummer: the knee injury of Vsevolod Brylakov. “We have to be honest. Two times on the podium, almost each time at least one rider in top five and two riders in top six of the championship: that’s something we didn’t expect at the beginning of the season”, says team owner Hans Corvers. “But we are only halfway the season. We can’t relax now. We need to keep working hard.”