MRT Racing Team Beta Factory – Grand Prix of Latvia

The FIM Motocross World Championship 2024 headed to Zelta Zirgs in Kegums, about fifty kilometres from the capital Riga, for the Grand Prix of Latvia, round nine of the Season.

Unfortunately, our rider Ben Watson was not able to take part at the GP of Latvia in Kegums, as he has to undergo surgery on his right knee, as a result of an injury caused by a crash in the GP of Galicia. He is currently discussing with his surgeon on the date of the operation.

It was up to only Ivo Monticelli (Beta RX450) to stand up for the MRT Racing Team Beta Factory. The rider started the weekend by setting the 16th fastest time in timed practice. In qualifying he got off to a good start and finished in a promising 15th position. On Sunday, luck was not on his side. In the first heat he was forced to make a hard comeback and finished in 16th position after a violent crash on the first lap. In the second race he was forced to retire in the final while deservedly occupying 12th position. 22nd in the day’s Absolute, Monticelli holds 21st position in the Championship Standings.


I had a positive weekend in Latvia. I am happy with the way I run because compared to the previous races my pace was better. On Saturday I closed the qualifying session in 15th position even though the suspension set-up was not perfect. Before the titled heats though, thanks to the help of the KYB technicians, we made some changes that gave me a better feeling in the seat. In the warm-up I got the 9th fastest time but unfortunately on the first lap of race one I came into contact with an opponent on a long jump and we both crashed. I also lost time restarting because the bikes were stuck together. Once I got back into the race I started to make a comeback and finished 16th. In the second race I got off to a better start and in a few laps climbed to 12th place, but unfortunately, I was forced to retire. Physically I felt better and although I was never very fast in the sand on this occasion, I think I defended myself well.


It’s a really bad news… I’m sorry. In a crash in the Lugo GP I suffered a sprain to my right knee, but it didn’t show up as an injury right away. I raced the last two GPs (France and Germany) but my knee kept giving me problems, I was in pain and it didn’t allow me to train. Further medical investigations revealed an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament and a meniscus. Keeping up with training or racing would only make the things worse and with the doctors we have decided on surgery, which we are planning for as soon as possible, at the moment we don’t have the date yet. It is likely that the recovery time will not allow me to return to the World Championship this season.

ELIO MARCHETTI (Team Manager MRT Racing Team Beta):

It was obvious that Ben’s troubles over the last few GPs were related to the consequences of the crash in Lugo, and unfortunately it has now turned out that the injury requires an operation. We are next to Ben, we thank him for what he has done so far, and what is important now is that he can get back in shape.

After the Kegums race, next weekend the MRT Racing Team Beta Factory will be competing at Maggiora in the Italian Grand Prix, the 10th round of the 2024 edition of the FIM Motocross World Championship.