Vlaanderen on being back on the MXGP podium

Image: Yamaha Racing | Words: Press Release

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Calvin Vlaanderen fought hard for a fine third overall at the MXGP of West Nusa Tenggara. Fighting through the field in both races for two fourth-place finishes, Vlaanderen’s impressive performance was rewarded with a trip to the overall podium for the first time this year. Rounding out a very encouraging day for the team, Andrea Bonacorsi secured eighth overall, with his weekend highlighted by a career-best fifth in Race One.

The first round of the Indonesian double-header in Lombok proved positive for the team. Both Vlaanderen and Bonacorsi acclimatized well to the humid, energy-sapping conditions and the fast and rough race track, demonstrating their true speed and tenacity aboard their Yamaha YZ450FM machines.

Vlaanderen started Race One inside the top five before a small mistake leaving the first turn relegated him downfield. From there, a hard charge through the pack saw him quickly move into sixth by the end of lap one before he passed Bonacorsi for fifth one lap later. As the race neared its conclusion, the South African came out on top of an intense battle with Jeremy Seewer for fourth, setting him up nicely for a place on the overall podium.

In Race Two, Vlaanderen started up front and began challenging the leaders. However, a small tip-over in a heavily watered corner dropped him from fourth to seventh. Remaining calm, the number 10 then set about working his way towards the front of the field, and by mid-race, he was back into fourth. Knowing that fourth would secure him his first overall podium result of the year, Vlaanderen maintained his high pace and position to cross the finish line and confirm his place on the rostrum. As the 2024 campaign moves into its second half, Vlaanderen remains fourth in the MXGP Championship Standings.

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For Bonacorsi, MXGP round 11 underlined the Italian’s continued progress in the premier class. A strong start in Race One set the Italian up for a great result, and after losing a spot to Vlaanderen on lap two, he kept his teammate in sight for the remainder of the race. Able to maintain the same speed, ‘Bona’ would catch and pass Seewer on the final lap for fifth to claim his best-ever race finish in MXGP.

Eager to impress in Race Two, Bonacorsi started up front again before settling into eighth place. However, a crash on lap five dropped the number 132 downfield to 12th. With the temperature soaring and knowing the importance of finishing every race, Bonacorsi ultimately placed 12th for eighth overall to maintain 14th in the Championship Standings, taking away plenty of positives from the first of two GPs to be held in Lombok.

With the first of the two back-to-back Indonesian rounds now complete, Vlaanderen and Bonacorsi both look forward to returning to Lombok for round 12 of the 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship next weekend on July 6-7.

Calvin Vlaanderen:

I’m so happy! It’s been a long two years since I was on the podium, and it’s taken a lot of work and sacrifices to get back up here. So, I want to say a huge thanks to the whole team and everyone around me. I’ve been close to the podium a few times this year but today I felt really good. To really battle with the front guys though, I need better starts. With the team we’ve been working hard on them, and they’ve improved a lot, but I need to be getting holeshots or at least be in the top three. Overall, I’m super-stoked to be on the box and today has been great for my confidence.

Andrea Bonacorsi: 

Two good days for me this weekend. Yesterday I worked on finding my flow around the track and placed ninth in the Qualifying Race, so that wasn’t too bad. Today was really good, especially Race One. I started around sixth or seventh and then held sixth all race. Then, on the last lap, I passed Jeremy Seewer for fifth, so I was really happy with my performance. I had another good start in Race Two but lost some positions in the first turn. I was then running in eighth but then I had a small tip-over and lost a lot of places. It was really hot, and I did my best to regroup, but I ended up 12th. So, a bittersweet day let’s say. But I showed that if I start up front, then I can run up front, so that’s really positive, and I’m excited for next weekend.