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Double podium for Yamaha Factory MX2 at MXGP of Portugal with Rick Elzinga and Thibault Benistant on the podium at Agueda.

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Rick Elzinga and Thibault Benistant both landed on the podium at the MXGP of Portugal at Agueda, claiming second and third, respectively. At what turned out to be a gruelling test of man and machine due to torrential rain, the challenging fifth round of the series proved positive for the teammates, who stood on the rostrum together for the first time this season.

In the opening race of the day, Elzinga used the power of his Yamaha YZ250FM to get off to a great start and ran third during the early stages of the moto. As he battled through the heavy mud, he made a few small mistakes and lost a position but would hold onto fourth at the finish, equalling his career-best race result.

Another strong start in Race Two saw the Dutchman take the holeshot before running wide into turn two. Emerging in third, Elzinga made the pass into second on lap seven and soon built up a comfortable gap over the chasing pack. Mastering the mud to finish as runner-up, he beat his career-best race result and claimed second overall – another first for the number 44.

Following his impressive showing in tough conditions, Elzinga moves up two places in the Championship Standings to seventh after five rounds.

Joining Elzinga on the podium in Portugal was his teammate, Benistant. In Race One, the 198 benefitted from a strong start and held fourth through the early laps. The talented French star then engaged in a battle with Andrea Adamo, with Benistant holding off the reigning MX2 World Champion to secure fifth.

In Race Two, Benistant started outside the top 10 and despite the treacherous conditions, he worked his way forward throughout the moto. Reaching as high as third, Thibault was passed by Mikkel Haarup with two laps to go and with a sizable gap behind him, he ultimately placed fourth for third overall. Benistant now lies fourth in the Championship Standings.

The FIM Motocross World Championship moves on to Spain next weekend for the sixth round of the series, the MXGP of Galicia, on May 11-12.

Click here for all the results from the MXGP of Portugal.

Rick Elzinga

2nd MXGP of Portugal, 40-points

7th MX2 Championship Standings, 159-points

“I really can’t be happier! My first MX2 podium is just amazing. I really like this track, so it was a shame about the mud but in Race One it wasn’t too bad. I started third then moved into second but then made a few mistakes. I ended up fourth but overall, I was happy with my riding. I took the holeshot in Race Two but ran too wide, so I lost a couple of places. I was third for a while and then moved into second and made no mistakes, stayed up, and finished second for second overall and my first ever podium in MX2. I have to say a huge thanks to the team this year, and especially today because of how muddy it was.”

Thibault Benistant

3rd MXGP of Portugal, 34-points

4th MX2 Championship Standings, 185-points

“It was a really tough weekend because of the weather, but there is plenty to be positive about. Tough conditions are part of motocross and to get on the box with a 5-4 is good and good points for the championship. I still have some work to do to be better and for sure it’s nice to be on the podium again.”