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Watson victorious at the MXGP of Lommel

Monday October 26, 2020 at 1:47pm
Watson victorious at the MXGP of Lommel

The MXGP of Lommel has concluded the Belgian triple-header here in Lommel, which saw Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2 Ben Watson take to the top of the box as the pair finished the week in the sand, on a high note.

In MX2, it was a special day for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Watson who claimed his first overall victory of his career with another race win in the opening race and a fourth in race two. Finishing second overall was Roan Van De Moosdijk of F&H Kawasaki Racing as he made his return to the podium in epic fashion, with his first race win in the MX2 category during heat two. And rounding out the podium was Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori J1 Racing’s Maxime Renaux who had a solid day finishing second and fifth in the races.

The first MX2 race saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle claim his 17thFox Holeshot of the season as he led Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts, Thibault Benistant of Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing and Watson.

Geerts then went down in the early stages of the race and it was Vialle who led Renaux, Benistant and Watson on the first official lap. Watson then went after Benistant for third as he began his charge for the race win, though he had Van de Moosdijk on his rear wheel too.

Pretty quickly Watson was in third, and continued his way forward, while his teammate, Geerts, was having a tough ride down outside the top 20.

On lap 5, Gifting crashed out of 5th and re-joined the race in 11th. He then gave it a good effort to pull back as many positions as possible as he fought his way back up to 8th for another solid top 10 result.

Vialle led the race with a steady gap to Renaux, though the hard-charging Watson was taking quite a bit of time out of the pair, as he caught on to the back of Renaux and eventually passed the Frenchman on lap 10. The Brit then took chunks of time out of Vialle for the next four laps, before getting onto the rear wheel of the KTM rider and then passing him.

Vialle then came under pressure from Renaux, who also managed to move up a position with just three laps to go. Though it was Watson who won the opening race, with Renaux finishing 7.958 seconds behind in second and Vialle third. Meanwhile, Geerts brought it home in 13th.

The gate then dropped for the second MX2 race of the day and it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts who claimed the Fox Holeshot, as he led Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle, Van de Moosdijk and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen.

Diga Procross GasGas Factory Juniors pilot Isak Gifting was having a great race, as he took fourth from Olsen in the early stages of the race and then went after Vialle for third.

Watson had to work hard in the second race, as he started down in 6th, though he made a couple of good passes to finish 4th, which got him on the top step of the podium.

The bad luck continued for Geerts in the second race, as he crashed out of the lead on lap three, which allowed Van de Moosdijk to inherit first place. Geerts then managed only a couple more laps before another big crash, dropped him from 4th to 10th. He was however able to make a few passed before the end of the race to finish 7th.

But it was Van de Moosdijk who led the race until the chequered flag dropped on lap 16, after defending his position from the likes of Gifting, Vialle and Olsen who were keen for top positions.

Gifting and Vialle had a couple of good laps battling amongst themselves, though as Olsen and Watson joined in on the fight, it allowed the GasGas rider to get ahead, while Vialle came under pressure from the Dane and the Brit, who were able to find their way through.

Renaux came next as he pushed Vialle down to 6th and in the end it was Moosdijk who won the race with a 7.808 gap to Gifting and Olsen.

In terms of the championship, Geerts has lost some ground on Vialle who now heads into the final three rounds with a 74-point advantage, with Renaux down in third with 476 points.

Ben Watson: “In race one I felt like I did a good race. My start was good and the first lap I lost one position and I was in fourth for a little while, then it takes me a little while to get into it, I was able to get in my rhythm and keep putting my laps in. I found one spot on track where I was able to pass the guys in and it was working for me and I won good, I was really pleased with this race. Race two was a little bit of a different story. My start was really bad, and I was tight. I mean in the beginning of the race it was ok, but it took me time to come through like I normally can and then when it came towards the end and I could see who was in front of me and who was behind me, it [the overall victory] was going through my head. It was a little bit of a problem for me as I was riding tight but the thing is now that I’ve won a GP and no one can take it away from me and it’s a big weight lifted off me so now I can just focus on moving forward”.

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