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Interview: Calvin Vlaanderen on the Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha team and Star engines

Interview: Calvin Vlaanderen on the Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha team and Star engines
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What a weekend it was for Calvin Vlaanderen winning the first MXGP overall of his career and not only that but he dominated. 

We caught up with him at the MXGP before that in Maggiora to discuss his team and more… 

On it being his third year with the Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha team…

Definitely, we have the same goals, we work hard as a team, pushing each other to do better. If I look back to where we were three year ago we’ve taken a big step forward. The team is like a family to me. I’m grateful for everything they do for me, let’s keep working hard to take the next step.

On his speed in the Dutch Masters compared to MXGP…

I put too much pressure on myself in the GP’s. In the Dutch Masters I take it easier and I feel no pressure. I know I am one of the fast guys there (Dutch masters). Here at the GP’s it is a little bit different. This it was I was hired for, the GP’s that is, not the Dutch Masters. I put a lot more pressure on myself for these races, especially on the Sunday. After Latvia I told myself to stop putting so much pressure on myself and just enjoy the racing, do the work in the week and be hard on myself then. But in the weekend just enjoy the racing and trust in my abilities as a rider.

On running a Star Yamaha engine…

Yeah it’s true, we are riding with Star Yamaha engines this year. These engines are definitely a big improvement from last year’s engine. Just look at the start of the first moto, the engine is pretty competitive against the factory bikes. I’m very happy with the engine, we have close communication with Star Yamaha and with Brad who is doing the engines. We’re still trying to improve the engine, Tomac and Ferrandis like their engines completely different to the way I like it. Completely different tracks, but they also have a different riding style and that. So we’re still trying to improve every week and set the bike up perfectly to what I want.

On having Arminas Jasikonis as a team-mate…

We do have a good relation, me and AJ(Arminas Jasikonis). We train on the bikes together during the week. Unfortunately Arminas was injured the last couple of weeks, so he wasn’t at the track. Sill we’ve got a good friendship, we get along really well so that’s nice.

On growing up in South Africa and adapting to the sand…

Well… I moved to Europe when I was 15, I moved to Belgium and later the Netherlands when I was 17/18. Since then I’ve been riding in the sand with the HSF KTM, I was in the sand a lot. That definitely helped. I feel like I am comfortable on both the sand and hardpack. I live in Valkenswaard so there are sandtracks all around. My weak point the last three years have been hardpack. I’ve been in France more, spending time on the hardpack.

Interview: Marco Kamper

Pic: Yamaha 

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