Thibault Benistant of Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing claimed victory at the second round of the EMX 250 motocross European Championships in Latvia. Benistant dominated the first heat and finished second in the final race after a titanic battle. He clinched the overall victory for the day and is now the new championship leader.
Thibault and teammate Gianluca Facchetti were keenly looking forward to the event. They were obviously in good form, and Thibault qualified fastest with Gianluca claiming fifth spot.
Both riders struggled off the start in race one. Thibault charged forward, and in no time at all had worked his way up to third. He rode a tactical race, seeking out his opportunities, and when the time was right, he piled on the pressure. This worked for him, and enabled him to move into the lead. He kept up a punishing tempo, and managed to open up a comfortable gap on his closest pursuers. He took the checkered flag with lots of breathing space. Gianluca Facchetti had to recover from an awful start which saw him near the back of the pack. He exerted all his efforts to move into the points, and eventually crossed the line in 19th spot.
Thibault charged into fifth spot off the start in race two. He quickly worked his way up to second, but by then race leader Mattia Guadagnini had managed to open up a sizable gap. Thibault went in pursuit, and the battle between the two front riders once he caught up was the stuff of season highlights. Thibault momentarily moved into the lead, but a mistake in the waves section cost him the top spot again, and he finished a very close second. Gianluca had a much better race this time round. He was 13th off the start, which gave him a good platform to move into the top ten. He managed to do so, finally finishing seventh.
Thibault clinched overall victory and now leads the championship series with five points. Gianluca is currently 13th in the standings.
The compressed season continues this coming Tuesday at the same track.
Overall EMX250 Latvia:
1 Thibault Benistant 47 Pnt
2 Mattia Guadagnini 41 Pnt
3 Isak Gifting 40 Pnt
4 Jorgen Matthias Talviku 38 Pnt
5 Tim Edberg 33 Pnt
9 Gianluca Facchetti 16 Pnt
EMX250 Championship Standings:
1 Thibault Benistant 79 Pnt
2 Isak Gifting 74 Pnt
3 Mattia Guadagnini Pnt
4 Jorgen Matthias Talviku 61 Pnt
5 Kay de Wolf 58 Pnt
13 Gianluca Facchetti 31 Pnt