Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen signed off his MX2 career with an impressive podium performance at the 2019 season finale, which was hosted at the brand new facility in Shanghai, China.
The track was praised by a lot of riders over the course of the weekend, providing a good surface and an interesting layout as the MXGP championship visited China for the very first time. For Vlaanderen, it was also provide some happy memories as the Honda rider finished the season and his time as an MX2 rider with a third place overall, putting in a second moto charge that gave him the finish he needed in order to beat out fourth place by two points.
In both races the CRF250RW rider got out the gate extremely well, rounding the corner inside the top three. Then in race one, a small mistake by another rider meant that Vlaanderen was in second for the entirety of the race, putting pressure on the leader but unable to get himself close enough to make the move for the win.
Race two didn’t quite go as smoothly as it was his mistake on lap one that dropped him from third to seventh. As usual, he didn’t get rattled and instead put his head down and fought his way back up to fourth place with just five laps remaining. This was the position he needed for the podium and as he crossed the line, it was obvious he had put everything into that ride to make sure his final MX2 race was a good one.
Although the season is now completed, Vlaanderen does potentially have one race remaining as he hopes to represent the Netherlands in what is a home Motocross of Nations for them. The Assen facility will be hosting this prestigious race on September 28-29 and Vlaanderen is one of two riders who are competing for the MX2 position in the three-man team. This gave extra importance to his ride and is further proof (after his moto win and podium in Sweden) that he would be a very strong choice for what will be a very strong Dutch team.
Elsewhere, the Honda 114 Motorsports duo of Zachary Pichon and Mitch Evans finished just outside the top 10 in three of their four combined motos, as Evans just missed out on a top 10 in the MX2 championship standings in what is his rookie campaign.