Jed Beaton P5 in MX2 at Lommel
Coming into round six of the MX2 World Championship, Jed Beaton was in great form following podium appearances and solid results in recent weeks. In Belgium, the Australian’s strong speed continued with an eighth-place finish in race one despite a small crash around the halfway stage of the moto.
In race two, Beaton started eighth and moved into fifth as the moto reached half distance. The 23-year-old then engaged in a battle for position with Conrad Mewse, ultimately coming out on top to claim fifth in the moto and secure his third consecutive top-five overall finish.
“Today was a little bit of a bad day, but if I can take fifth overall on a bad day then it’s not so bad. I was fortunate in race one to miss a big crash just after the start but then while sixth I crashed on my own and fell way down the field. I got back to eighth which was ok though. My start in race two wasn’t so good and by the time I got into fifth the leaders were gone. It was unfortunate but fifth was good and solid points overall so all things considered, I’m happy with today.”
Bike It MTX Kawasaki’s Wilson Todd had a tough introduction to the deep Lommel sand. A respectable thirteenth in Qualifying, the Australian charged from twenty-third to fifteenth during the first half of race one before being forced out.
A lightning start in race two saw him round turn one in the top six but the joy did not last long as a fall at turn three put him at the back of the field; he bravely persisted to the end to finish twenty-third despite two further falls. He is now thirteenth in the series points standings.
MX2 Race 1
In the first MX2 race, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who grabbed the Fox Holeshot, though it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux who led the way.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Mattia Guadagnini had an unlucky start to the race as he crashed in the first corner and had to re-join the race way behind the rest of the pack. Eventually the Italian was able to fight back to 14th place.
Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee rider Conrad Mewse got off to a great start in the race as he was running behind Renaux, Vialle and Geerts, though by the second lap he crashed and was unable to carry on due to a bike issue.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf started the race down in around 10th place, while his teammate Jed Beaton was fighting sixth place. By the following lap Beaton dropped to 12th, while De Wolf was able to make a couple of nice passes to get into eighth.
Vialle also crashed in the beginning stages of the race as Renaux continued to lead Geerts who was keeping close.
De Wolf continued his charge up the field after making passes on F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Mikkel Haarup and Mathys Boisrame, while Vialle took third from Honda 114 Motorsports rider Ruben Fernandez.
At one point, De Wolf and Vialle were the two fastest riders on the track, setting very similar lap times. By lap seven De Wolf caught onto Fernandez to take fourth and then just under three laps later he was also ahead of Vialle as he got himself into third position.
Renaux continued to lead the race keeping Geerts at bay until lap 10. The Frenchman crashed which allowed Geerts through. Luckily, the pair was so far ahead that Renaux was still able to finish the race second, as Geerts took the win and De Wolf finished third. Jed Beaton finished eighth.
MX2 Race 2
In race two, it was De Wolf who was flying into the first corner and took the second Fox Holeshot of the races. He led the race immediately with Geerts and Thibault Benistant of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing, Renaux and Mewse just behind.
Geerts then got Benistant for second as Renaux struggled for a few laps to do the same. Meanwhile, Vialle started the race in sixth place though crashed lap two and dropped down to 10th.
After making several attempts, Renaux was finally able to get Benistant for third at lap five, by which point De Wolf and Geerts were already quite far ahead as the two leaders kept a steady gap, setting very similar lap times.
At one point, Mewse started to close in on Renaux and Benistant as it looked like the Brit was going to push for higher positions, though he started to fade a little towards the end of the race to eventually finish in sixth position. Beaton was one of the riders who passed Mewse in the closing stages, as the Aussie made his way from eighth to fifth in the race.
De Wolf’s gap to Geerts remained at around three seconds for most of the race, though with two laps to go Geerts put on a late charge to get onto the back of the Husqvarna rider.
The battle for the win was close and continued right until the chequered flag, but it was De Wolf who came out on top to win his first ever MX2 race, while Geerts finished second and Renaux in a distant third.
With a win and a second, Jago Geerts was the overall winner at his home track, while Kay De Wolf stood on the second step of the podium after some very strong races and Maxime Renaux joined the pair, to stand on the third step of the podium and extend his championship lead to 26 points over Mattia Guadagnini who only managed 12th overall today. Fernandez remains third in the standings, while Geerts is fourth just two points from second.
Jed Beaton finished fifth, to claim fifth overall for the weekend, while Wilson Todd was 23rd.
“I’m really happy to win here in Lommel. Last year I think everyone expected that I would win at least one of the three GP’s but it didn’t happen. In the second race Kay was riding really good and at the end I tried to go for the pass, but I couldn’t make it happen. It’s nice to head in the right direction but the season is still long and I’m not really thinking about the championship that much, I just want to go out every weekend, do my best and collect as many points as possible.”
Kay De Wolf – P2
“The fight in race two already started with two laps to go. I enjoyed racing. It’s an amazing feeling to win a race. It’s going really well this season so far, so we’ll keep on fighting and keep up with the hard work.”
Maxime Renaux – P3
“The first race, I took a good start, well actually the start was better in race two but I went wide in the first corner because Kay was really close, so I went wide. The first race I made a good start and was feeling great on the track and took a little gap to Jago. I was just feeling really good and made a silly mistake passing a lapped rider, I got cross rutted and went down. That was a shame but finishing second was really good for the points for the championship. The second race I had a good start, I didn’t push too hard as the guys were pretty quick and were so far in front that it was almost impossible to get them, so I finished the race third. Third overall is good, good for the championship so I’m happy. I’ve only won one race since the beginning of the year and I’m not happy with that, I want to win more races. When you win races and put 25 points you can get a bigger gap to your opponent, so yeah, I try to be as consistent as I can and will try to win races, take good starts, which I think is very important this year and hopefully it will pay off.”
Thibault Benistant – P6
“My day was quite good overall because I finished fourth with 34-points. This is only 1-point less than my best ever finish this year, with my best weekend being 35-points. When you look at it like this, it is quite good. I had a bit of bad luck in the first race. Another rider hit my lever and I had no front brake for the whole race, but in the end of the race I was feeling really good and was one of the fastest guys on track at the end of the moto. In the second race, the feeling was not there, so I did not want to go over the limit and make a mistake for nothing; fourth overall in Lommel is not a bad result.”
Tom Vialle – P7
“Seventh is not what we want but after the injury I have not ridden in the sand for a long time. I tried twice this week but it wasn’t going too well with my hand. In another way I’m quite happy because my hand came through the motos well. We can build from here. I was already tired at the start of the second moto and the track was really tough today. If you are not ‘bike fit’ then it is extra difficult here. I think I would have enjoyed today a lot more if I had that fitness. I know from here we will be a bit better every day. We will train hard this week and I know I will be 100% by the time we go to Turkey.”
Simon Langenfelder – P9
“I felt really good on my bike today. I was flowing in the turns and after qualifying I was really confident for some strong results. Unfortunately, in both races I had to come from the back because of avoiding a crash in race one and then in moto two, I had a really good start, but I was pushed wide and off the track. In that one I came from 25th to ninth so my speed is there, I just needed a little bit of luck to get some better results.”