Calvin Vlaanderen – What a performance from the South African! Vlaanderen has been a new rider since his first GP win. He now believes he is one of the top guys and his performances at Loket showed that he has stepped up a level. It might even have been he best performance of the season even if he just came up short on the overall after a poor start in race two meant he had to come from tenth to third.
But Vlaanderen ran down both Prado and Covington is race one and neither could match his speed when the pass was made. Vlaanderen said he felt he could do anything on the bike and that’s exactly how it looked watching him.
Very loose and relaxed on the bike, he seemed to trust every aspect of the machine, with the 250 Honda working superbly at getting traction on the slick turns and small acceleration bumps. A lot of time has clearly went into getting the right suspension settings and feel for Vlaanderen from both the rider and team. It’s great to see Honda now back in the mix for race wins in MX2 where they should be and finally gives Husky and KTM some competition!
Jorge Prado – When the pressure was really on, it was Prado not defending champion Jonass who rose to the occasion at Loket to take the red palate in the MX2 championship.
Prado is very mentally strong and despite a not so great Saturday where he didn’t look entirely comfortable he wasn’t fazed and came back on Sunday a new rider. Two holeshots and an overall victory despite a lot of heat from Thomas Covington in the final laps of race two was a tremendous response to the pressure of the occasion.
Prado has been inching up on Jonass recently in the championship but now he has an 11 point lead and has really taken the momentum in the championship. But it’s Prado poise and ability to remain calm throughout the highs and lows that is as impressive as his speed on the bike in 2018.
Hunter Lawrence – This was more like the Hunter Lawrence from the first three rounds! He was in the mix in race one, tagging along with Jonass to come from the back of the top ten to be part of the leading group, the Aussie just couldn’t quite make the pass on the defending champ that he wanted but he showed the speed was back again.
In race two he came round the first lap in 15th but charged all the way back to sixth to confirm that his time in the States has paid off. Refreshed, healthy and motivated, Lawrence could be a threat for the podium for the rest of the year – if he can improve the starts!
Maxime Renaux – Injury has hindered Maxime Renaux’s progress over the last couple of years and his EMX2 performances perhaps have been a bit up and down in 2018 but at Loket he showed the talent is still there to be a top GP rider. Renaux made the most of the break in EMX2 and took his chance in the MX2 category to go 10-10 for tenth overall and showed that he can be right in the mix when his talent and confidence combine.
It was a much-needed reminder that Renaux still has the ingredients to be a leading MX2 contender in time and after all the injuries and frustration of the last couple of season Renaux’s persistence to keep going has to be admired.