TWO KEMEA YAMAHA'S IN TOP SIX, GEERTS OUT WITH A BROKEN COLLARBONE.
Round 16 of the FIM world championship - in Frauenfeld, Switzerland - was one with mixed feelings for Kemea Yamaha. The Belgian MX2 team was happy with the fifth place of Anthony Rodriguez (his best result ever), but also a bit disappointed with the sixth place of Ben Watson. And finally they were sad because of the injury of Jago Geerts, who already had surgery on Sunday to fix his broken collarbone.
No Jago Geerts at the start of the first moto in Frauenfeld. The 18-year-old Belgian crashed out in the opening lap of the qualifying race on Saturday and broke his collarbone. Geerts immediately returned to his doctor in Belgian and had surgery on Sunday. The Belgian, currently seventh in the world championship, will miss the Grand Prix of Bulgaria (August 26) and Turkey (September 2). The teenager hopes to be back at the Grand Prix in Assen, on September 16.
Rodriguez got a blistering start in the first moto and was just behind world championship leader Jorge Prado, who took the holeshot. A Rod was passed by Pauls Jonass in the first lap, but was following both KTM's from short distance. Watson - who made his debut on the all-new 2019 YZ250F - also had a good start but dropped to tenth position in only one lap. Ben struggled on the rutty and gnarly track. The Briton needed 15 minutes to find a good rhythm and started to pass some guys in the second part of the moto, finishing in sixth place. In front, Rodriguez felt good on the technical track and was battling with Covington for the third spot. The Venezuelan was fighting like a brave, but was passed by the American with only three laps to go. With a fourth place Rodriguez equalled his season best result. Earlier this season, he also finished fourth in the first moto in Semarang, Indonesia.
In the second moto, again a great start from a Kemea Yamaha rider, this time from Watson. The Briton was right behind Prado, but didn't feel at ease on the difficult Swiss circuit and couldn't keep up with the front guys. Watson was losing a few places and finished seventh. Rodriguez had a poor start (around 15th place), but managed to gain some positions, finishing just behind his teammate. Good for a fifth place overall, his best ever result in a Grand Prix.
"That first race was a good wake up call for me. It was good to realise that I have the speed to battle with the top riders. In the back of my mind, I knew that it was possible, but I had some doubts because it didn't happen lately. I hoped to do the same in the second race, but my start ruined everything. I was fifteenth and had to fight back. I made a mistake by doing that not fast enough. It wasn't easy to pass on this track, but it was not impossible. Like Covington showed. Fifth place is of course nice, but it could have been better. That's my goal for next week."
"Sixth... That's a big disappointment. What went wrong? Two things. One: a lack of preparation. I didn't ride the new bike enough. I didn't feel comfortable, I was clearly missing confidence during the race. And two, most important: I was not good enough myself this weekend. It was the first time this season that I had two great starts, but I couldn't convert them into good results. Today was probably the slowest I raced the entire season. I need to stay positive now. I will go home and will do a lot of testing this week on the new bike. Next week, another Grand Prix, new chances."
"I made a mistake on a jump in the beginning of the qualifying race. I was thrown over my handlebar and landed on my left shoulder. I immediately knew that my collarbone was broken. In 2014 I broke my right collarbone. Back then, surgery wasn't necessary. This time it was. I had surgery yesterday, in Belgium. My first surgery ever. Unfortunately, that's also part of our sport. Surgery went well, normally I will need three weeks to recover. I hope to be back in the Grand Prix in Assen. But only when I'm fit. I don't want to take unnecessary risks."
"Mixed feelings this weekend. The injury of Geerts is, of course, a bummer. Maybe he can make his comeback at the GP in Assen. But only when he's fully fit. Jago is still very young. We are not going to take risks with him. We are very happy with the performance of Rodriguez this weekend. Anthony already showed a few times that he had the speed, but was always unlucky with crashes and bad luck. This fifth place is a reward for all the hard work he's putting in. Watson had a difficult weekend, although he had two great starts. Maybe, there is too much pressure on him now."
First Moto 250cc:
1. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM)
2. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) +0:05.197
3. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) +0:12.769
4. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (VEN/YAM) +0:16.499
5. Hunter Lawrence (Aus/Hon) +0:19.838
6. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:40.346
JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) DNS (broken collarbone)
Second Moto 250cc:
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM)
2. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) +0:04.721
3. Hunter Lawrence (Aus/Hon) +0:10.128
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) +0:15.833
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) +0:18.773
7. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) +0:26.271
8. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (VEN/YAM) +0:49.115
JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) DNS (broken collarbone)
Overall Classification 250cc:
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 47
2. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) 47
3. Hunter Lawrence (Aus/Hon) 36
4. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) 35
5. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (VEN/YAM) 31
6. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 29
Belgian Masters (superfinal):
1. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 692
2. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) 664
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 519
4. BEN WATSON (GBR/YAM) 482
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (Ned/Hon) 462
7. JAGO GEERTS (BEL/YAM) 346
17. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (VEN/YAM) 138
19. VSEVOLOD BRYLYAKOV (RUS/YAM) 127