The depleted Team HRC squad is currently en route to Argentina for the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. And the with the MXGP Factory Honda squad wiped out through injury, Calvin Vlaanderen will get the team’s full attention in Patagonia this weekend.
Unlike his stablemates, pre-season for Vlaanderen has gone smoothly. The South African rider claimed second place in the opening MX2 race of the Internazionali d’Italia in Riola Sardo and followed that up two weeks later with a dominant win in Mantova – then sealed the weekend with a fifth-overall in the Superfinal.
“I’m looking forward to the first gate drop of the 2018 season,” said the MX2 pilot. “It’s been a good off-season and I feel confident heading into this new journey.”
The Neuquen circuit has been a firm rider favourite since it first featured on the MXGP circus in 2015. It’s located near the village of Villa La Angostura in the stunning scenery of the Nahuel Huapi national park and always has an amazing crowd reception and incredible atmosphere.
But despite its eagerly-awaited status, Vlaanderen isn’t its biggest fan. “Argentina is not my all-time favourite track, but it’s a fast and fun one nevertheless,” said the 21-year-old. “I’m looking forward to getting out there aboard my CRF machine and see where we’re at. I will do my best for myself and the team but I’m also aware of the fact that this is a long season – so it’ll be important to keep fully focused and bring home a good result.”
HRC General Manager, Marcus Pereira de Freitas, commented: “We’re looking forward to seeing how Calvin and the all-new Honda CRF250RW machine will perform in Argentina. It has been an encouraging pre-season for him where he could start gelling with the team and the new machine, so we are ready for this new challenge.
“The goal is to aim for a good result and build some momentum for what is going to be another busy, long and very exciting year of racing.”
The action will get underway on Saturday, March 3 at 10:45 local time (GMT -3) with the first free practice for the MX2 class, while the two races are scheduled at 12:15 and 15:10 on Sunday.