MXGP Sardinia: Flanders wins the general in Italy

A hot and difficult day in the sand dunes of Riola Sardo concluded the eighth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and the second edition of the MXGP of Sardegna.

For Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen, it was a weekend to remember as he topped the standings in every session of the weekend, winning the qualifying race and both rounds to secure his first-ever standings win. general in the MXGP category. Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle also celebrated in style by taking his first GP victory since Trentino and his second here at Riola Sardo.

In the first MXGP race of the day, it was Team HRC’s Tim Gajser who earned his second Fox Holeshot of the season and led the way ahead of Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and Standing Construct’s Pauls Jonass. Husqvarna Factory Racing.

Brent Van doninck (Riley Racing) got off to a good start in fourth ahead of Henry Jacobi (JM Honda), Jeremy Seewer (Monster Energy Yamaha Racing) and Calvin Vlaanderen (Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing).

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux rocked at the start, which also caught Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Brian Bogers, Honda 114 Motorsports’ Ruben Fernandez and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff.

Early in the race, SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery’s Alberto Forato and Fernandez crashed together, while Renaux also crashed once more.

Seewer then passed Van doninck for fourth on lap two with Vlaanderen also following. The Dutchman of South African origin then set his sights on the Swiss by achieving the fastest lap of the race. Although it took Vlaanderen a total of five laps to pass the Factory Yamaha rider.

Vlaanderen’s pass on Seewer came shortly after the pair rounded Jonass and by the 10and Vlaanderen lap was third. Gajser continued to lead the way with Prado in second place.

Team HRC’s Mitch Evans also looked good as he passed Van doninck for sixth and then rounded Jonass as well. Things were going well for the Aussie until round 15 when he fell back to 12thand and ended up finishing 22n/a.

Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini was having a good run in about 10and and just dropped back to 11and towards the end of the race. On lap 14, Vlaanderen passed Prado for second, then set his sights on victory. The Yamaha rider put in some very fast laps and with two laps to go Gajser won his first ever MXGP race. Gajser crossed the line in second position ahead of Prado, Seewer and Bogers.

In race two, the Fox Holeshot went to Prado, who edged out Jonass, Fernandez, Vlaanderen, Coldenhoff and Gajser. Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP’s Ben Watson and Evans were unlucky in the first corner on the way down.

After a better start in race two, Vlaanderen looked determined to make quick moves to the top, but Jonass made him work for it, as it took the Dutchman four laps to fight his way to second place. Gajser had a much tougher second race as he struggled in sixth. The Slovenian was briefly overtaken by Renaux but recovered it soon after. Though it crashed then passed out at 12andas it was revealed that he had been battling an illness over the weekend.

On lap six, Coldenhoff got Jonass for third, and Renaux and Seewer then passed the Latvian as the two teammates battled it out. Seewer briefly passed his teammate, then soon after caught Fernandez as well, but made a small mistake and crashed.

The Swiss had not finished because he overtook Guadagnini and Jonass at the same time he was leaving. Meanwhile, on lap eight, Vlaanderen passed Prado to take the lead. He looked in control for the rest of the race as the heat and difficult track conditions didn’t seem to affect him. A few laps later, Coldenhoff also overtook Prado.

In the end, Vlaanderen won the race ahead of Coldenhoff, Prado, Renaux and Bogers. A perfect 1-1 scoreline gave Vlaanderen their first overall victory in the MXGP class, with Prado making his return from injury on the second step of the podium, while Coldenhoff celebrated his first trip to the box in third!

Although he did not reach the podium, Gajser still leads the championship with a 79 point advantage over Renaux and Seewer, while Prado remains fourth in the standings.

Calvin Vlaanderen: “I am speechless. Honestly, it was a perfect weekend. I was first in every session that counted. First in timed practice, first in the qualifying race, then in both races. It’s just… I don’t know what to say, just years and years of hard work, that’s what I dreamed of getting into MXGP. You know, winning and being here right now. It’s like a dream. I just wish my family were here and everyone from home.”

“I think it all started with the week leading up to that, like mentally it’s such a big thing in sport, especially at this level to believe you can win. And coming to this weekend, I honestly believed for the first time in my career that I could win. And it’s such a nice feeling, just confidence and it showed today that I can do it.”


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