THIBAULT BENISTANT – FOCUSED ON 2024

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider Thibault Benistant is very much in the picture when it comes to contenders for this year’s MX2 World Championship. The Frenchman is 21 years old and has a little more experience than many of the younger riders in the 250 class, and he feels that it might help him on occasions this year.

I think we will have some young guy riding in front,” Benistant said. “A lot of the time and for sure, somebody like Liam (Everts), Simon (Langenfelder) and myself, we will be smarter and maybe win a few GPs in a row. I think my experience will help a lot. We all want that World championship, but I want to be consistent and that will lead to a World championship, I think. So, both really, go for the championship and being consistent. Of course, and it will be tight, because some guys get more experience, and some young guys are coming up also. I don’t really look at them and just focusing on myself and do what I can. I train good and focus on my program and see how that goes at the beginning of the season.

With two stunning Grand Prix victories in 2023 and a handful of podiums finishes Benistant knows his way to the top three, however he only rode 14 GP’s last year and that is also a trend, as he rode 15 in 2022 and 16 in 2021. That is something he has worked on in the winter, to keep away from the back of an ambulance.

Some is bad luck. I crashed in the start last year after somebody caught my wheel. When I am not feeling 100% or great with the track and my rhythm wasn’t good, then I took it easy last year. For the championship I was riding good, but that start crash was just bad luck. In the previous years it was my fault, the injuries.

Fortunately, while the Monster Energy Yamaha MX2 team has changed hands in 2024, the “new” team is a team that Benistant feels comfortable with and had success back in his European championship days.

I rode for this team when I was European champion on EMX250, and I just changed my mechanic, and the manager of the team has been my trainer for the last four years now. We have a good communication and even the boss of the team I talk to all the time at the races, so it really isn’t something new for me. The way of working I know, and it isn’t similar, but it is really good, and I am very comfortable there.

Now, as we edge towards the opening round of the MX2 championship in Argentina on March 10, the feeling is that, anyone of 10 riders can win that Grand Prix. For Benistant, he will go in with the goal to finish well inside the top five and come out healthy for rounds two in Spain a couple of weeks later. A good start and many points will without question make the rest of the season a little bit easier.

Photo Credit: Fullspectrum image

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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