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Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 raring to go in 2023

Jago Geerts, Thibault Benistant and Rick Elzinga ready.

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Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team Poised for Powerful MX2 Title Campaign

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s title protagonists, Jago Geerts, Thibault Benistant and Rick Elzinga, are revved up for the opening round of the 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship that will kick-off at the spectacular Patagonia Race Track in Villa La Angostura, Argentina this weekend.


Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Bavo Swijgers


Aiming to extend Yamaha’s three-year win streak in the MX2 Manufacturer’s World Championship, reigning World Champions, Yamaha, and the team will be on the hunt for individual and Manufacturer’s title success.
Long-time Yamaha riders Geerts and Benistant arrive in Argentina with a combined total of 38 race wins, 17 Grand Prix wins and 49 podiums between them, making the dynamic duo firm title favourites in 2023.

Geerts, a proven title contender with three MX2 Championship silver medals and one bronze to his credit, has reached the age limit of 23 in MX2, and is determined to win the title in his final attempt. On paper, the Belgian is the man to beat; however, his title hopes will not be without a challenge from teammate Benistant, who has secured both the EMX125 and EMX250 championship titles during his ten-year tenure with Yamaha.

Coming off an impressive pre-season campaign, Benistant, 21, enters his third season in MX2 excited to ride a completely new track. The ‘198’ missed MXGP’s post-pandemic return to Argentina last year through injury but has enjoyed his first trip to South America so far and looks forward to lining up as one of only three riders with Grand Prix winning experience in 2023.

Also making the trip south of the equator for the first time in his career, Elzinga, 22, hopes to put his intense winter prep to the test. Like Benistant, Elzinga has worked his way up the Yamaha Racing pyramid with podium finishes in EMX125, aboard a YZ125, and a stellar EMX250 title campaign aboard a GYTR-kitted YZ250F in which he celebrated four round wins, five race wins, and six podium finishes on his way to the crown last season.

As the reigning European EMX250 Champion, Elzinga has earned his place on Yamaha’s works MX2 team for his first full season as a Grand Prix racer and has taken full advantage of Yamaha’s elite training program. Having put in the work throughout the winter, both in terms of physical fitness and bike set-up, the Dutchman is excited for the new challenge and hopes that he can show his full potential throughout the season.

This weekend, the Patagonia Race Track, a venue that has hosted six MXGP rounds since its introduction in 2015, will also see the start of a new era with Championship Points being awarded to the top 10 finishers in the Qualifying Race on Saturday for the first time ever. The rider that wins the Qualifying Race will earn 10 points; second place gets 9 points, third gets 8, and so on.

The first opportunity for the riders to go out on track will be on Saturday (11th March), starting with MX2 Free Practice at 10:45 followed by MXGP Free Practice at 11:15. Gates will drop for the points paying Qualifying Races at 15:25 (MX2) and 16:10 (MXGP). Jago Geerts will also feature as a guest on the free to view LIVE Studio Show on www.mxgp-tv.com at 12:00. All timings are local (GMT – 3).

Jago Geerts – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Rider

“I started the off-season strong with everything going well, but I had a small set-back in January when I got sick and could not train exactly how I wanted to. Since then, I have done all that I can to recover strong, and I’m feeling pretty good now. Going into Argentina. I am looking forward to it. I won a race there last year, so it’s a track I like. My goal is to have a solid GP and build from there.”

Thibault Benistant – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Rider

“My winter was good. I started riding a bit late, but still had enough time. I feel good on the bike, we did some testing and made a few small setting changes, and this has worked well. I did some pre-season races that were good, I enjoyed it a lot. I feel ready. My goal for the first race in Argentina is not necessarily to win, but to make a good start and fight for the podium to put good points on the board.”

Rick Elzinga – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Rider

“The off-season felt long. I had two viruses last year, so I had to take two months off at the end of last season to recover properly. When I could resume training, it was obvious to me that I was quite far behind in terms of physical fitness compared to training partners, Thibault (Benistant), Maxime (Renaux) and Glenn (Coldenhoff). But I feel fortunate to have had Yamaha and the team behind me, pushing me hard to get to where I should be. Setting up the YZ250FM was easy. I had a good base setup really quick, so I felt good on the bike basically straight away. This weekend, I just want to start the season strong and use the time to adjust to the new format where I need to be solid for six sessions on track in a weekend. I’ll keep these things in mind, but I also want to get a good start and run with the top guys. I’ve only seen Argentina from the couch, so I can’t wait to ride here for the first time!”

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Results: 2024 Hawkstone International

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Find all the highlights and results from the 2024 Hawkstone International below.

MX1 Overall

MX2 Overall

Super Final

Lead Image: Fantic MXGP

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BREAKING NEWS: MX Lacapelle Marival Cancelled

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The first round of the French Elite Championship scheduled this weekend at Lacapelle Marival has been cancelled
Due to terrible weather conditions today and an even worse weather forecast for this weekend, the event’s jury (members of the club and delegates of the French Fédération) announced a few minutes ago that the event is cancelled.

The first round of the Championship will take place on March 16-17 in Basly (near Caen)

There was an impressive entry list for the event. It will be interesting to see if any riders go to the Hawkstone International this weekend.

MXGP

1 Valentin GUILLOD
20 Gregory ARANDA
24 Kevin HORGMO
34 Bogdan KRAJEWSKI
57 Pierre GOUPILLON
61 Pako DESTERCQ
72 Lucas IMBERT
91 Jeremy SEEWER
93 Jago GEERTS
101 Mattia GUADAGNINI
109 Antoine BORDRON
131 Adrien MALAVAL
141 Maxime DESPREY
183 Tim EDBERG
193 Tanguy PROST
576 Dorian MARTINEZ
725 Antonin MILLE
752 Julien PELLETIER
783 Enzo TORIANI
831 Brice MAYLIN
959 Maxime RENAUX
971 Tino BASSO

MX2

8 Camden MC LELLAN
11 Calvin FONVIEILLE
14 Arnaud AUBIN
19 Sacha COENEN
31 Tom GUYON
41 Nicolas DUHAMEL
47 Karlis REISULIS
55 Mathis BARTHEZ
74 Kay DE WOLF
95 Enzo CASAT
111 Mikkel HAARUP
132 Andrea BONACORSI
133 Tom CANEELE
140 Nike KORSBECK
172 Mathys BOISRAME
198 Thibault BENISTANT
214 Nicolas VENNEKENS
220 Toni GIORGESSI
226 Arthur STEFFEN
240 Johan BRIAND
268 Thibault MAUPIN
287 Lisandru TORRE
317 Mathis VALIN
319 Quentin Marc PRUGNIERES
324 Maxime CHARLIER
389 Jules PIETRE
411 Nicolas DERCOURT
425 Emile DE BAERE
430 Ivano VAN ERP
446 Adrien PETIT
451 Julius MIKULA
507 Simon DESMICHEL
575 Kevan SCHILLINGER
589 Kiliann POLL
598 Ethan LEPIGEON
619 Hugo STIENNES
640 Jules ALMAYRAC
642 Jules AMMER
708 Kivers LEFEBVRE
712 Pierrick CASTAN
720 Ilann WERLE
747 Maximin MILLE
772 Janis Martins REISULIS
790 Victor MAURESA
798 Arnaud COLSON
816 Tennessee CARRIE
857 Hugo VAUTHIER
867 Rasmus MOEN
895 Francois RIGOLLOT
925 Mathis DECLEMY
960 Lucas COENEN
978 Enzo ROZE

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Injury Update: Liam Everts suffers a broken thumb and will miss the start of the MX2 season

Details here.

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Disaster has struck for Liam Everts, as the Red Bull KTM star fell during training in Grevenbroich on Wednesday and suffered a fracture in his thumb. He underwent surgery on Thursday and looks set to miss the start of the MX2 World Championship on March 10 in Argentina – as per Motocrossplanet via Het Belang Van Limburg.

Having impressed last season on his way to winning three GPs and finishing fourth in the title standings, this is a huge blow for the MX2 title contender. We wish him all the best for his recovery. 

Lead Image: Ray Archer/KTM

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