Hard Charging Vlaanderen Fourth at MXGP of Italy

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Calvin Vlaanderen placed fourth overall at the MXGP of Italy, matching his season-best finish, thanks in large part to an incredible charge from nearly last to fifth in Race Two. His teammate, Andrea Bonacorsi, also impressed, securing 12th place, while in MX2, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team’s Rick Elzinga battled a persistent elbow injury to claim 11th.

Torrential rain fell on the legendary hillside circuit of Maggiora at various stages of Saturday and created a challenging race track for both days of action. With some parts of the clay-based venue under water at various times on Saturday, somewhat incredibly, dust was kicking up during the second set of races on Sunday, showing the diversity of the conditions riders faced at the 10th round of the 2024 campaign.

Arriving in Italy focused on climbing onto the overall podium, Vlaanderen kicked off the weekend in fine style with fifth in the MXGP Qualifying Race. Eager to carry that speed and form into Race One, he executed a great start to run up front and after a short battle with Jeffrey Herlings for fourth, he inherited fourth when Jeremy Seewer made a mistake. Vlaanderen then fended off Seewer’s challenges and as the race progressed, the number 10 began to break away, holding his position to the finish.

Knowing full well an overall podium result was on the line, Vlaanderen once again got off to a great start in Race Two. Then, disaster struck as a monumental crash happened in front of the South African approaching turn two that he couldn’t avoid. Quick to remount and with his Yamaha YZ450FM unaffected by the fall, the 27-year-old delivered arguably his best ride of the season so far. After working his way forward throughout the race, including a last lap pass on Isak Gifting, Vlaanderen secured fifth for fourth overall and moves up to fourth in the MXGP Championship Standings.

After a tough GP last weekend in Latvia, Bonacorsi bounced back and delivered strong results at his home GP. An eighth in Race One was a strong start to Sunday however he’d find himself in the same incident as his teammate early on in Race Two. Fortunate to avoid injury, Bona’s charge through the field secured 12th for ninth overall. In doing so, the Italian moves up two places in the Championship Standings to 14th even though he missed the first four rounds while he was competing in MX2.

Elzinga maintained his run of consistent results in the opening MX2 race, despite injuring his elbow on Saturday. Sixth in Race One was a strong finish but in Race Two, he almost crashed on lap one and hurt his wrist. After dropping down field, he regrouped and worked his way forward to claim 14th. In placing 11th overall, the Dutchman maintains seventh in the MX2 Championship Standings.

With a break in the EMX250 calendar, the VRT Yamaha Official EMX250 team trio of Ivano van Erp, Karlis Reisulis and Gavin Towers made the trip to Italy to compete in the MX2 class to gain valuable experience.

All three riders scored points and adapted well to the much more rigourous racing format. Faring best for the team was van Erp who finished 14th overall, with Reisulis 21st and Towers 22nd.

The MXGP of Italy marked the end of three consecutive races and the halfway point on the 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship calendar. Up next are back-to-back rounds in Indonesia with both events, rounds 11 and 12, taking place at the Lombok circuit.

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

Calvin Vlaanderen

4th MXGP of Italy, 34-points

4th MXGP Championship Standings, 339-points

“It’s a little disappointing to be involved in that huge crash in Race Two as I knew my chance of an overall podium was thrown away. But I put my head down and charged all race. I found a good line out on the back of the track where I could make passes and just used it to move forward. I’m really happy with my bike, my riding and my fitness, and it was just unfortunate to start Race Two like that. I had a pretty good start and a few riders crashed in front of me and I just couldn’t avoid hitting Jorge Prado. Now it’s onto Indonesia for two back-to-back races and another shot at the podium.”


Andrea Bonacorsi

9th MXGP of Italy, 22-points

14th MXGP Championship Standings, 116-points

“Today was ok I guess. In Race One I didn’t get the best of starts but managed to pass a lot of riders quite quickly, so that was good and I finished in eighth. For Race Two I was hoping to be nearer the top five but then there was a big crash at the start. It was then a tough race back to 12th for ninth overall Next up is Indonesia, so we’ll keep working and go again.”


Rick Elzinga

11th MXGP of Italy, 22-points

7th MX2 Championship Standings, 300-points

“In the Qualifying Race on Saturday I crashed and hurt my elbow so for today I had to manage it the best I could. I had a really good start in Race One and ran upfront but because of my elbow, I was overcompensating with my riding so I couldn’t really challenge the guys at the front. My start in Race Two was also good but I almost crashed on lap one and tweaked my wrist. I didn’t feel strong and lost a lot of places. I dropped quite a way back but then when I found my strength and flow again I was able to get back to 14th.”