After 17 rounds and 34 races at some of the world’s top motocross venues, battling on and above sand, clay and fresh loam for global supremacy in the 2022 FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGPs), just one weekend of racing remains for Monster Energy’s Jago Geerts (Yamaha) and his quest for the MX2 class title.
Leading the championship chase by a mere two points, 710-708, ahead of rival Tom Vialle (KTM), the Belgian Geerts – and the rest of the MXGP tour – boot up and gate one last time at the BitCi MXGP of Turkey in Afyonkarahisar to decide this year’s MX2 class champion.
Equally matched, Geerts and Vialle have been atop the podium, in 1-2 positions, three times this season (Argentina, Sardinia, and Sweden). And should they swap those top two positions a fourth time, at Afyonkarahisar, the title would go to Geerts. And in the event the two end up tied in championship points, Vialle would get the nod as champion based on his 15 moto wins (to Geerts’ 12).
Two weekends ago in St. Jean d-Angely, France, Vialle captured the top spot in the penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Geerts, for his part, understood what he needed to do better at the French MXGP, and also what it’s going to take to bring the title home at Afyonkarahisar. And, according to Geerts, it begins with better starts.
“It was quite a difficult weekend. I had three average starts, so that made life difficult,” said Geerts of his 3-7 two moto finish for 3rd overall in MX2 at St. Jean d-Angely. “My speed was good and I was feeling good all weekend, but just the starts made it tough.”
Historically at the Afyonkarahisar circuit, Geerts and Vialle are evenly matched, with Vialle producing the better result last year, while Geerts got the upper hand in 2019. The track is hard pack, vs. the sand-dominated tracks MXGP usually runs on. The race is also run at a significantly higher altitude than most of the MXGP tracks, which will add an interesting technical element between Yamaha and KTM – and which bike will run best in the thinner air.
“So I’m ready to lay it all on the line in Turkey and do my best there,” said Geerts.