Motocross

Yamaha Confirms Three Rider Line Up for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 in 2023

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Photo of the 2023 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team

Yamaha Motor Europe has confirmed a three-rider line-up for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team in 2023.

Yamaha and the team have retained title challengers Jago Geerts and Thibault Benistant for another season and are poised to welcome the recently crowned EMX250 Champion Rick Elzinga into the fray. All three riders have signed on to campaign the factory Yamaha YZ250FM in the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship.

With 32 race wins and 42 podiums to his credit already in MX2, Geerts is a proven title contender. The 22-year-old Belgian is again chasing his first world title in MX2 this season and currently holds a 2-point lead in the series with only one round remaining.

While his goal is to win the MX2 crown this year and then successfully defend it next, Geerts is also looking forward to making his MXGP debut aboard 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,” Geerts said. “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.”

Geerts’ title hopes in 2023 will not be without a challenge from teammate Benistant, who has secured both the EMX125 and EMX250 championship titles during his ten-year tenure with Yamaha. Despite his rookie MX2 season in 2021 being disrupted by injury, the 20-year-old Frenchman racked up two race wins and a podium finish, ending the season eighth in the standings.

“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,” Benistant said. “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.”

Benistant’s form has continued into 2022, with the youngster again overcoming an injury that saw him sit out the first three rounds to claim a maiden Grand Prix victory, four race wins and five podium finishes, placing him fifth in the series standings with one round remaining.

At the same time, Elzinga has worked up the Yamaha Racing pyramid with podium finishes in EMX125, aboard a GYTR kitted YZ125, and a stellar EMX250 title campaign aboard a GYTR kitted YZ250F in which he celebrated four round wins, five race wins, and six podium finishes on his way to the crown.

As the freshly crowned European EMX250 Champion, Elzinga has earned his place on the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team for his first full season in MX2.

“Becoming a Factory rider is so motivating,” Elzinga enthused, “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.”

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