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Vlaanderen Dominates MXGP of Sardinia as Coldenhoff Celebrates First Podium Finish of the Season 

Vlaanderen Dominates MXGP of Sardinia as Coldenhoff Celebrates First Podium Finish of the Season 

Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha’s Calvin Vlaanderen made history today at the eighth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Riola-Sardo, Sardinia, dominating every session on track to celebrate his and the teams' first-ever race and Grand Prix win. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Glenn Coldenhoff boosted Yamaha’s podium success, celebrating the MXGP of Sardinia on the third step. At the same time, teammates Maxime Renaux & Jeremy Seewer rounded out the top five.

Stifling hot temperatures paired with a physically demanding deep sand track made the MXGP of Sardinia the ultimate test of man and machine. On Saturday, the riders had to gamble their energy in terms of how much time they spent on track and how much effort they put into the Qualifying Race with the goal being to conserve as much energy as possible for Sunday. And despite their best efforts for an easy and smooth sailing Qualifying Race, it turned out to be anything but.

Seewer got off to a great start but fell at turn one and had to start from last place, as Coldenhoff and Renaux emerged inside the top-10. Hailing from the sand capital of the world, The Netherlands, Coldenhoff was in his element as he charged past some of MXGP’s most formidable competitors to take third from Jorge Prado on the final lap. Renaux also showed great form but was caught in an unavoidable incident when Prado crashed right in front of him. Nevertheless, the Frenchman was able to finish sixth. Seewer, however, had a race ruined by mistakes while battling some bike set-up issues, and after another two crashes, he finished 18th. 
While the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders posted a mixed bag of results, the star of day was Vlaanderen who started inside the top-three and powered his YZ450F past Prado to take an emphatic race win, and his first-ever Pole Position since entering the MXGP class back in 2020.
Dealing with hot conditions again on Sunday, Vlaanderen continued his astonishing charge. The tall South African did not get off to the best start but was in a league of his own when it came to his speed around the deep, rough and physically demanding circuit of Riola. While many riders faded in the challenging conditions, the South African excelled, and after passing the current MXGP Championship Leader with 2-laps remaining, he stormed to an astonishing race win – the first of his MXGP-class career.
While Vlaanderen stole the spotlight in Race 1, Seewer’s performance also did not go unnoticed as he bounced back from his Qualifying Race woes. The ‘91’ made the most of a difficult situation with 18th gate pick and powered his YZ450FM to a top-10 start. Aware that the conditions would push the limits of his race preparation and the stamina of the riders around him, Seewer put in some solid and consistent laps and made some excellent passes on his way to fourth. 
At the same time, Renaux and Coldenhoff had to dig deep after Renaux fell from second position at turn two on the race line, which meant a bunch of riders, including ‘The Hoff’ were caught in the carnage. After breaking free from the incident, the duo went to work, both showing phenomenal pace as they posted lap times as quick as the leaders while carving their way through the field. 
At the flag, Renaux recovered from another two mistakes to finish sixth, while Coldenhoff struggled to find his rhythm and finished eighth. 
The second race was also marked by Vlaanderen’s dominance and sand-riding prowess. The number ‘10’ charged from fourth past Ruben Fernandez and Pauls Jonass to take the lead from Prado on lap 8. From there, the break-out star stormed to another phenomenal race win. 
At the same time, Coldenhoff was second at the flag after some incredible passes on his way from sixth position, while Renaux powered to fourth after starting on the cusp of the top-10. Seewer was also running a hot pace but fell from fourth with less than 10-minutes on the clock but still fought back to finish sixth. 
Yamaha ended the MXGP of Sardinia with four YZ450Fs inside the top five and leaves the sandy beach-like circuit with all three Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders inside the top-five in the MXGP Championship Standings. Renaux remains second in the points; Seewer is third and Coldenhoff is fifth. 
Vlaanderen's success with a Qualifying Race win followed by two Championship Race wins and the Grand Prix overall in the same weekend comes as a first for Yamaha since Romain Febvre aboard a Monster Energy Yamaha Factory YZ450FM back at the MXGP of Czech Republic in 2019. And as a result, the Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha rider has jumped to ninth in the MXGP Championship Standings. His results this weekend were the first of his career in every way. Previously, his best result was a pair of fourths; both were in 2021, one was here in Riola-Sardo, and one was in Maggiora.
For full results from the MXGP of Sardinia, click here. 
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will be in Madrid, Spain, on the weekend of May 29th. 

Calvin Vlaanderen

MXGP of Sardinia Winner, 50-points

“I’m speechless. Honestly, it was the perfect weekend. I was first in every single session that mattered; first in Timed Practice, first in Qualifying and first in both motos. I don’t know what to say; it is just years and years of hard work. This is what I have dreamed of; to become a MXGP class winner. To be here right now it’s like a dream. I just wish my family was here and everyone from back home.”

Glenn Coldenhoff

3rd MXGP of Sardinia, 35-points

“The first race didn’t start so well. Somebody crashed in front of me in the second turn and I had to come all the way from the back. But also, coming into this weekend I have been sick all week and we did everything we could to line up here healthy, but it seemed like it was staying with me. In the second race, I had a better start and saw Calvin (Vlaanderen) pushing hard straight away, so it felt a bit like a Dutch race for me because we have been battling in the Dutch Championship all season. I wanted to go with him, but I couldn’t follow today, so congratulations to Calvin, he was riding so good. I still had a good feeling on the bike, it’s good to be back on the podium. It’s been a tough road, but I always knew I could do it, and here we are again.”

Maxime Renaux

4th MXGP of Sardinia, 33-points

“It was a tough weekend like we expected, really hot weather and a brutal track. In the first race I crashed in the second corner and crashed twice in the first lap. To start dead last and push to sixth was really good. I messed up the second corner again in the second moto, and had to come from a little bit further back, so I was really tired at the end of the moto after using a lot of energy in the first race. Not the best day for me, but still good points for the championship.”

Jeremy Seewer

5th MXGP of Sardinia, 33-points

“I struggled so much with bike set-up yesterday. We’ve made the bike work really well on the hardpack, but in the sand, there is still some room for improvement and yesterday I struggled a lot. I lost a lot of confidence yesterday, so to come back from that was mentally tough and I am happy I did it. I am satisfied with the result; maybe one small crash too much, but it’s racing. It’s how it goes. I still collected good points and managed to set up my bike really good. In the second moto I was feeling really strong, and my fitness is also very good. Overall, there are a lot of positives to take into the next few races, so I look forward to that, and being back on the podium again.”