Maxime Renaux wins 2021 FIM MX2 World Championshipby Jack Gaffney October 31, 2021 1 comment
It started becoming a matter of if not when the further this season went, but now it is official. Maxime Renaux, the 21-year-old out of France has officially clinched this year’s MX2 World Title two rounds early. Doing so with a 2-1 day in Trentino, needing 13 points to clinch over teammate Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha running mate Jago Geerts.
Sadly Geerts had a rough fall in Moto 1 today, which later forced him out of the second Moto on the day. That ended up being the nail in the coffin, as Renaux had already gained 14 points on him. Thus the rider who has had this MX2 series in a stranglehold for literal months is now the World Champion.
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Grabbing the Brass Ring
Rewinding back to the season-opening MXGP of Russia, Renaux was good, but not great, going 6-9 on the day. Fellow Frenchman Tom Vialle, who entered 2021 as the defending MX2 champion, and the easy favorite to repeat, opened up with a 1-1. Just days after a max points outing in Russia, the Red Bull KTM rider suffered a hand injury in practice, forcing him to miss round two in Great Britain. Then that injury for Vialle snowballed into what was in essence three missed rounds in a row, a death knell for a back-to-back bid.
With Vialle out of the picture, the MX2 class became about as wide open as humanly possibly. You had over a half dozen riders vying for the top spot on the food chain who had hardly won Motos at this level, let alone world titles. Along with the Yamaha duo of Renaux and Geerts, this also included Mattia Guadagnini, Roan Van De Moosdijk, Rene Hofer, even Ruben Fernandez found some time in the title conversation.
Renaux became the fourth different MX2 points leader in just four rounds at Oss. Renaux went to great lengths to ensure that there would not be a fifth. Not just for that next round, but the rest of the season. After round six at the famed Lommel circuit, Renaux turned on the afterburners and never looked back. What was a 26 point lead over Guadagnini ballooned into what is now a 110 point lead over Vialle. He wasn’t the most dominant rider, but he also didn’t have to be either. Far better off going 2-3 and increasing the lead rather than to crash and risk an injury.
One for the Books
Since the switch from two strokes to four strokes across the pond, KTM has dominated, and I mean dominated the MX2 class. Dating back to 2004 they have won 13 MX2 titles, including what was a stretch of five in a row, and 12 in 13 years. Champions from that latter group include Vialle, Jeffery Herlings, Jorge Prado, Marvin Musquin, and Ken Roczen. BluCru does have their claim to a pair of Antonio Cairoli MX2 titles, but Renaux gives them their first since 2007.
Renaux is also the first Frenchman to win the MX2 title since Jordi Tixier did so back in 2014 as well. While there are no more MXGP rounds in France, he will almost certainly get a hero’s welcome at Paris Supercross next month. Not even a half year ago, it seemed like Vialle winning this MX2 title was as close to a sure thing as possible. Renaux however was able to seize his chance, and not only seize it, but absolutely run away with it. A stout year for the 21-year-old.
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