Convincing comeback for Vlaanderen in French qualifying race

2018-06-10 08:31
Calvin Vlaanderen and Team HRC have claimed an eighth-place finish in today’s qualifying race for the MX2 class at Saint Jean d’Angely, in what was an unexpected day of sunshine and high temperatures in western France.

After a hesitant start out of the gate, which forced him down to fifteenth place at the end of the opening lap, the young South African rider was able to get up to speed quickly aboard his Honda CRF250RW machine and make up some ground in the early stages of the moto. On lap three, Calvin was already into the top-ten and with three laps to go, he managed to complete a successful overtaking manoeuvre over fellow Honda rider Hunter Lawrence for eighth. With a great final lap, Vlaanderen fended off the Australian’s attacks to maintain his position at the chequered flag.

The MX2 field will get back on track tomorrow morning at 10:25 for the traditional 15-minute warm up, with the two motos of the day scheduled to begin at 13:15 and 16:10 local time (GMT +2).

Calvin Vlaanderen 10
I didn’t have the best today. I had good feeling with the bike, though, since free practice, so we didn’t make any changes to the bike and we had a good timed practice, too. Unfortunately I had a bad start to the race: I wasn’t ready for the gate to drop so I found myself around 16th/17th place after a few corners, but I made it back to eighth. My riding was good and I had the speed of the top guys, so hopefully tomorrow we can get two good starts and battle at the front.

Calvin Vlaanderen
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager - MXGP
Calvin didn’t get the best jump out of the gate and was way back at the end of the opening lap, but he did a good job in passing a good number of riders before the finish line. The track is fast and there are not many good spots where to overtake, so the riders at the front normally manage to pull away and create a big gap. Eighth gate-pick is not too bad, so Calvin needs two good starts and some healthy confidence. The team did a good job in giving him a great bike to ride today.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
Qualifying race
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
Thomas 64 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing 25:31.406
Pauls 1 LAT Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.740
Jorge 61 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +2.339
Henry 29 GER STC Racing +21.548
Conrad 426 GBR Hitachi Construction Machinery KTM UK +23.429
Iker 66 SPA Husqvarna 8Biano Racing +23.767
Ruben 70 SPA F&H Racing Team +30.405

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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