The Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha squad made the long journey to Turkey for the seventeenth round of the MXGP World Championship as the season comes to a conclusion. On Saturday, after a storm hit the track and with heavy winds making it dangerous for the riders, it was sensibly decided to cancel the MXGP qualifying race. This meant riders went to the line based on their times from timed practice and that saw Vlaanderen post the nineth quickest lap time.
The track crew did a brilliant job and we saw dry and slick conditions on Sunday which allowed for some good racing around the man-made circuit. Vlaanderen took a good start in the first moto and was fifth after the first official lap riding well on his Yamaha but not content with that he was able to push forward and finish a strong fourth despite getting arm pump.
Knowing a podium was on the cards, Vlaanderen and the team were fired up for the second moto but it wasn’t the best of starts. However, during the opening lap he was able to make some passes to get himself into sixth at the end of the first lap. After making a pass on Pauls Jonass on lap thirteen, Vlaanderen moved into the top five and brought home a solid fifth position.
4-5 was good enough for fourth overall but the speed certainly isn’t far away from the podium and there’s two more attempts left this year with the season heading to Maggiora, Italy and then Matterley Basin, GB for the final two rounds of the 2023 series.
Calvin Vlaanderen (4th overall): It was a consistent weekend in Turkey with a fourth overall. I am happy to be back after a couple rough weekends. I had a good feeling on the track all weekend and didn’t change anything on the bike. Saturdays qualifying race was cancelled due to the storm we had. On Sunday in the first race, I managed to stay out of the chaos on the first lap and found myself in seventh after lap one. I struggled with arm pump quite badly so I couldn’t push too hard but still managed to make some good passes to finish in fourth. The second race was another solid start, and I was able to make some quick passes on the first lap. I was feeling good and managed to get another pass with ten minutes to go to put me in fifth for a solid fourth overall. I’m happy with my riding and looking forward to the next one in Italy.