News 1 Sep 2022

Yamaha MX2 World Championship team expands for 2023

EMX250 champion Elzinga joins mainstays Geerts and Benistant.

Image: Supplied.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team has announced an expanded 2023 world championship roster, with Jago Geerts and Thibault Benistant to be joined by EMX250 champion Rick Elzinga.

Progressing through the ranks with Yamaha, Elzinga achieved podium finishes in EMX125 and enjoyed a commanding campaign this year in EMX250, capturing four overalls and five race wins en route to taking the title.

“Becoming a factory rider is so motivating,” Elzinga explained. “I have done a few rounds of MX2 this year as a wild card rider, and I loved it. Racing at the highest level with Yamaha’s most prestigious MX2 team is a dream come true. It has given me an extra boost of motivation to give even more, and I am determined to get the job done in MX2 next year.”

Geerts leads the 2022 MX2 World Championship by two points entering Turkey’s finals this weekend. With his sights firmly set on capturing the title, he will look to fight for the crown again next season before making his MXGP debut onboard a factory Yamaha YZ450FM in 2024.

“This is my fifth year with Yamaha and I’m really happy to extend my contract for another two years,” said Geerts. “I work well with the team, and we already have a good bike set up, so it’s nice going into the winter period with a strong base.

“The goal will be the same as it is this year, we want to fight for the world title again, and I think we will be there. I am really looking forward to it.”

Bensistant overcame an injury that sidelined him from the opening three rounds of the season to achieve a maiden GP victory in Germany, along with a host of podiums and race victories. He is fifth in the current MX2 standings entering the final two motos.

“I have been with Yamaha for a long time, since I was racing on a YZ125, so I am happy to continue with them for at least another two years,” stated Benistant.

“I feel good on the factory YZ250FM, and I have a lot of confidence in the team around me, so I’m certain we can be contenders for the World Championship title. Thanks to my team for their support and thanks to Yamaha for believing in me.”

The final round of the 2022 MXGP World Championship is this weekend at Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. Three weeks later, the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) takes place at RedBud, USA, where Geerts will notably compete on a 450 in MXGP for Team Belgium.