Calvin Vlaanderen has written an exciting page in the history of Honda in the Motocross World Championship by winning the MX2 class of the MXGP of Indonesia, while giving himself and the all-new Honda CRF250RW their first success in the series. This incredible achievement – the first overall victory for the brand in the category since Assen 2015 – was a result of a superb performance by the South African rider in race two, where he dominated from start to finish.
Calvin had a rocket jump out of the gate and was second as the MX2 field attacked the first corner of the race. The young South African pushed hard for almost the entirety of the encounter but was caught by reigning Champion Paul Jonass, who passed him four laps from the end of the moto. Vlaanderen managed to find his pace again to secure third position at the flag.
But Vlaanderen’s start to the second moto was even better, as he stormed past the rest of the field to take his first-ever FOX holeshot. Calvin showed a fantastic pace early on as he set the fastest lap of the moto on lap three to extend his lead over Jonass and Prado. As the race progressed, he rode with a consistently-quick rhythm to secure his maiden win in the series.
Courtesy of this victory – the first for a South African rider since 2008’s Benelux GP win by Tyla Rattray – Vlaanderen makes some more ground to the top of the standings in terms of points ahead of the second Indonesian GP of the season, which takes place next weekend (7-8 July) at the new Samarang track.
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
I wasn’t expecting this win! In race one I got a good start and was second for most of the race, but then kind of blew the last few minutes and got passed. Third place was not bad, but before the second moto I was fired up: I told one of the mechanic that I felt like a holeshot was coming, and it happened! When you have a clear track ahead you can take the lines you prefer and do your own thing. It’s such a cool feeling to cross the line in first place, and to win the first GP is unbelievable. Since I was three it was my dream to win a Grand Prix and I finally done it. I felt it was coming and I’m glad to be rewarding the team with a win; they have always supported with their hard work and helped me improve as a rider, so a huge thank you to them – they deserve it!
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
We are over the moon with Calvin’s win. He has done a superb job today at the front and showed the type of rider he is. He got two amazing starts – one better than the other – and rode hard even when the competition was getting closer. This is a huge win that we have been waiting for very long, and it’s a very sweet taste in our mouths. I’m confident this will break the ice and I’m sure it will give Calvin a great amount of confidence, so let’s see what he’ll be able to do at Semarang! Last but not least, thank you to the team for their amazing work: team work is paying off and they are as much winners as Calvin is today.
Words: HRC Honda
Pic: Shot by Bavo