Hard-Fought Sixth-Place Results For Vlaanderen and Elzinga at MXGP Round Nine in Latvia

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Calvin Vlaanderen has placed sixth overall at a technical MXGP of Latvia to move up to fifth in the MXGP World Championship Standings. In MX2, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team’s Rick Elzinga claimed sixth to maintain seventh in the Championship Standings after he secured a hard-fought 8-5 result.

The sandy Kegums race track was in perfect condition for the opening MX2 race of the day before heavy rain fell during the closing stages and in the lead-up to MXGP Race One. This created seriously challenging conditions for all riders and made the rough and sandy circuit much more demanding.

With track conditions at their worst for the first MXGP race, Vlaanderen benefitted from a great start before he was shuffled back to seventh as all riders contended with poor visibility. With the one-lined race track making passing opportunities difficult, the South African maintained his position until Cornelius Toendel fell and gifted sixth to the Yamaha YZ450FM rider. A top-five finish was then in sight until Vlaanderen made a small mistake of his own on the penultimate lap but remounted in time to hold onto sixth.

Focused on a stronger result in Race Two, Vlaanderen made a great start and was running up front in fifth until he fell from his bike on lap two. Able to get going quickly, he was up to seventh within a couple of laps and then began a race-long battle with Jeremy Seewer. Despite his best efforts, the 28-year-old was unable to find a way by and finished seventh. More importantly, following his consistent run of results recently, Vlaanderen has passed Seewer and the injured Pauls Jonass to move up to fifth in the MXGP World Championship Standings.

Andrea Bonacorsi pushed through the weekend despite not feeling his best after a hard hit at the German Grand Prix one week ago. The 21-year-old Italian finished ninth in Race One but faced challenges and couldn’t complete Race Two. He will undergo further assessment before deciding whether to participate in his home Grand Prix in Maggiora, Italy next weekend.

In MX2, Elzinga was once again the only rider competing for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team. After not getting off to the best of starts in Race One, the Dutchman charged through the field and moved into seventh by mid-race but lost a spot in the closing laps to Mikkel Haarup. Eager to make amends in Race Two, the number 44 did exactly that.

Despite not starting up front, the 21-year-old delivered one of his best rides of the season and worked his way from 10th on lap one to finish the race just under two seconds from third in fifth. Following nine rounds, Elzinga remains ninth in the MX2 World Championship Standings.

Next weekend, the FIM Motocross World Championship travels south from Latvia to the MXGP of Italy on June 15-16. The event will mark the halfway point of the series and also complete the third of three back-to-back events on the calendar.

Click here for all the results from the MXGP of Latvia.

Calvin Vlaanderen

6th MXGP of Latvia, 29-points

5th MXGP Championship Standings, 299-points

“I’m happy with my riding and my speed but I’m not too happy with results. But that’s racing. I crashed twice in Race One and once in Race Two early on, so it was a challenging day to say the least. But I’m in one piece and fast so I’ll keep at it. I’m just pushing too hard early in the races as I see the guys up front creeping away and I’m rushing passes. I’m up to fifth in the championship now, but we have a lot of races to go. Obviously, it’s nice but my focus for now is to get back on the podium. I’ll be looking to fully recover ahead of next weekend in Italy, where I’ll be giving it my best shot again.”

Rick Elzinga

6th MXGP of Latvia, 29-points

7th MX2 Championship Standings, 278-points

“Overall, it’s been a decent weekend and my speed was there for the top five. I didn’t have a great start in Race One. My jump was good but I got pushed outside, so I was around 12th early in the race. I made some good passes and moved into seventh, but then when I was riding by myself, I lost my rhythm a little bit. For the