Jago Geerts interview - Winner

Posted on May 10, 2022

When Monster Energy Yamaha rider Jago Geerts crossed the finish line to win the 13th Grand Prix in his career, there was a sense of control, and confidence. This wasn’t the same guy who would win a GP in the past, then crash his way to a 10th overall a week later.

Geerts is a quiet man, not brash, or outspoken, so it is easy to ignore just how good this 22-year-old is (he turned 22 last month). Inside that reserved character burns something very special, and in time, the World will stand an applaud this Belgian racer and it might even be in September of 2022.

We all know the story of Belgian motocross. Once the most confident and bravest country in World motocross. Better than America, better than Great Britain, and better than Sweden, the other three countries that have controlled our sport at one point or another. Belgian motocross was everything to our sport.

Now, with motocross circuits closing fast in that country and opportunities for Belgian motocross riders less than ever in their proud history, we have Geerts standing up and pounding his chest as he adds another GP victory to his name. The leader in the MX2 World championship points and currently the favourite to win the title.


It doesn’t get lost that his trainer is the last Belgian rider to win a World motocross championship, Steve Ramon, who took two championships in his career, those in 2003 in the MX2 class and again in the MX1/MXGP class in 2007. 

Ramon, like Geerts went about his business in the quiet manner of an introvert, not really getting the recognition from the media because he was so often quietly going about his work as a motocross rider and not shouting about his victories.

Working together Geerts and Ramon are putting in the long hours and talking over and over about what is needed to remain confident and mistake free. A mental coach has been added to the Geerts team to keep his mind clear of doubt. 

As he tells us in this interview, it might be the final step in giving us another Belgian World motocross champion, something we all want to see and something that proud nation deserves.

MXLarge: Jago, first congratulations, but what has changed, why are we seeing you now coming back from mistakes, while in previous years, we saw you make one mistake after another?

Geerts: I don’t know, for sure more experience and I am also working with a mental coach, and it helps a little and might be the final little bits I needed the last years.

MXlarge: As far as last year, just going back quickly, when you made a mistake, did you continue to think about that going to the next GP, because it seemed to steam-role sometimes?

Geerts: It is so long ago now, so I don’t realty think about that much, I just ride with more confidence now and make less mistakes, so that helps. I also make better starts and also, I do better in timed practice, because that is important and now, I make the times practice better and it makes the weekend a lot easier.

MXlarge: How did the weekend feel for you?

Geerts: I am really happy. Two consistent motos, two consistent starts and I felt good on track all weekend. I managed to stay out of trouble during the motos, which helped with good starts. I was riding well today, in the second race I did try to go for the win and went for the pass on Tom (Vialle), but in the end the track was very one lined, and I made the push a bit late. So, I am happy with a 1-2 for today and already looking forward to next weekend in the deep sand.

MXlarge: It seems now that the roles are reversed, and it is actually Tom (Vialle) who is making mistakes and you are winning GPs more often. Do you feel like you are not the man in the class?

Geerts: Not really the man, but I feel really good and strong and better than ever. I want to keep going like this and try and be as consistent as possible and not make any mistakes. We will see how it goes in the coming races.


MXlarge: I was speaking with Hans Corvers you team owner on Friday, and he mentioned that you are doing more things alone or making more decisions about your preparation. Also travelling more alone rather with always with your parents. Can you tell me about that?

Geerts: Yes, for sure I am more independent than before. I did the training in the US and also, I head to Sardinian for 10 days to prepare for that race, rather than head home in between. I travel more alone, and I have more experience how to set-up the bike and that is a point we can’t make small mistakes. It is a long season, but we can’t make mistakes on Sunday now.

MXlarge: As you know, Belgium haven’t had a World championship since Steve (Ramon) way back in 2007. Obviously, Steve is your training, but is there any pressure from Belgium with that and do you ever speak to Steve about it?

Geerts: Sometimes we joke about it, but no extra pressure. I don’t feel more pressure and when everything goes right, you don’t have much pressure.

MXlarge: Steve and you are very similar, both introverts. I can’t imagine how a conversation goes with two introverts, but how is that relationship?

Geerts: For sure it is nice to work with Steve, we work now five years together and we work really well together. He knows me really well and for sure at the GPs he is important for me. When he rode, he always had different lines than anyone else and he gives me really good advice.

MXLarge: We are coming up to a sand race, but I don’t think sand is a speciality for you, because you seem good on everything. How have you found this year so far with such a diversity of tracks and types of dirt?

Geerts: Yes, we have really had a lot of different types of surfaces this year and I really like that, changing from sand to hard pack to clay. Before we had maybe 10 hard pack and one sand track, but now there are many different types of tracks and I really enjoy that change.

MXlarge: As far as the mental coach, did that help straight away, and does it continue to improve how you think at the races?

Geerts: It helped immediately, but we still make steps this winter and it improves every time I go there, but the first period of having a mental coach was the most important.

MXlarge: I know it is a long way off, but if you win the MX2 championship, do you move up to the MXGP class or defend your title in MX2?

Geerts: I didn’t decide yet and it is early for sure. I like riding the 450 and it is a possibility, but I haven’t decided. We see how we do the next races and in the middle of the season we will decide something.

MXlarge: Speaking about that, I can imagine you need to make decisions pretty soon, because contracts are up in the Yamaha MXGP team and also, the HRC team, and if you want a good ride, those decisions have to be made. Is that something you are involved in, or you leave it up to Stefan Geukens your manager?

Geerts: Stefan is doing a really good job with that, and I don’t want to think about it, because I need to race GPs. He does a good job, and we just have small meetings, so we both know everything.

Roman Borak images