WATSON CLOSES IN ON TOP THREE
Ben Watson finished fourth in the Grand Prix of Great Britain, at the spectacular track in Matterley Basin. The Kemea Yamaha rider provided two stunning charges through the pack (6+4), much to the delight of his British fans. The Briton, who just missed the podium, gained 33 (!) points on Olsen, who is third in the world championship standings. Watson is now only nine points behind the Dane. Anthony Rodriguez took his first top 10 finish (9+11) for Kemea Yamaha, Jago Geerts finished 11th (15+7).
Watson was making hard work for himself in front of his home crowd. The Briton took a terrible start in the first moto and had to fight back from dead last. Watson, encouraged by thousands of fans, started an impressive catch-up race on his YZ250F and finished in sixth position. His teammate Rodriguez had a much better start (8th), but made a mistake in the sixth lap and dropped back to 13th place. The Venezuelan, however, fought back to 9th place. Geerts managed - after a crash in the first lap - to take a 15th place and thus five championship points.
Also in the second moto Watson couldn't get a good start. He was only 13th in the first corner and had to play catch up again. The Briton was on fire, gaining one or more places each lap, which resulted in a 4th place in the second heat and overall. But more important: he gained 33 points on Olsen, who's in third position in the championship standings.
Although he dropped a few places after some small mistakes in the first lap, Geerts felt more comfortable in the second moto. Once he found his rhythm, the teenager gained some places and came home in 7th place. Rodriguez had to battle through the pain barrier in that second moto as he got stomach cramps halfway the race. The Venezuelan still managed to finish 11th..
Finally, Vsevolod Brylyakov showed that his fourth place in Italy last week wasn't a fluke. The Russian started well in the first race, but had to settle for eight after goggle issues. Just like last week Brylyakov saved the best for last. His second moto was impressive with a fifth place.
"Fourth time fourth place. On the one hand, it's a bit frustrating to miss the podium again. On the other hand, I can't complain about my speed, my riding. I was the third fasted rider on the track. And I'm getting really close on Olsen, who's third in the world championship. There's only one thing I can complain about: my starts. We need to work on that. Overall, my home GP was a good GP. It was great to ride before my home crowd. Extra stress? Maybe a bit before the start of the first moto. But it was more an extra motivation."
"Top 10. Not bad. Although, it could have been a bit better. I started pretty well in the first moto, but made a small mistake and crashed. I lost five places and had to fight back. Halfway into the second moto I had stomach cramps. It was pretty painful and I couldn't push harder to gain some potions. That was a little bit disappointing. I need to keep on working on my speed. My goal is to get better each weekend, to get inside the top six."
"I struggled on Saturday because the track was too fast. On Sunday the track became a bit more difficult, which gave me a better feeling. Unfortunately, I crashed on the first lap of the first moto. I had to restart from almost dead last, but managed to finish 15th. The second moto was my best session of the weekend. I prefer the more difficult tracks. Next week Saint-Jean d'Angely, also fast, but more technical. But I'm especially looking forward to Ottobiano, a difficult sand track."
"Watson was without any doubt the third fastest rider in the MX2, but he missed the podium because of two poor starts. His starts were bad, but his racing was really impressive. Fast, smooth, aggressive. Also positive: he's closing the gap on Olsen, who's third in the championship. I'm also very pleased with the performance of Rodriguez. Anthony is showing, in only his second GP for Kemea, that he's a top ten rider. He is a quick learner. The same can be said about Geerts. He is still going to school and can't train enough on hard tracks. But you can see him improving session by session during the weekend."
1. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM)
2. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) + 0:00.840
3. Thomas Covington (USA/Hus) + 0:49.040
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA/Hon) + 0:55.561
5. Marshal Weltin (USA/Hon) + 0:59.351
6. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) + 1:00.863
9. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (Ven/Yam) + 1:10.412
15. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) + 1:29.314
1. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM)
2. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) + 0:01.294
3. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA/Hon) + 0:38.493
4. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) + 0:40.283
5. Henry Jacobi (Ger/Hus) + 0:54.081
7. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) + 0:59.296
11. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (Ven/Yam) + 1:29.485
1. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) 50
2. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 44
3. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA/Hon) 38
4. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) 33
5. Thomas Convington (USA/Hus) 32
10. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (Ven/Yam) 22
11. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 19
1. Pauls Jonass (Lat/KTM) 401
2. Jorge Prado (Esp/KTM) 373
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (Den/Hus) 288
4. BEN WATSON (GBr/Yam) 279
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA/Hon) 234
8. JAGO GEERTS (Bel/Yam) 179
14. VSEVOLOD BRYLYAKOV (Rus/Yam) 127
25. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ (Ven/Yam) 35Images by BAVO/CDS