Calvin Vlaanderen’s race-day performance at Sevlievo was cut short by a crash he suffered on the third lap of the first moto, when the 22-year-old from Cape Town fell off his Honda CRF250RW while trying to avoid Ben Watson who tumbled in front of him. Despite making his way back to the track for race two, the standard bearer of Team HRC in the category decided to pull out at the end of the sighting lap as the pain and discomfort were too strong to compete.

The race one crash left Vlaanderen battered and bruised all over the upper body, with the right-upper leg being the most hurt as it got stuck under the bike. Calvin did everything in his power to get himself out of the way to avoid any upcoming rider – although one of them rode over his Honda and partly over him.

Vlaanderen will now return home to the Netherlands to try and recover the full fitness ahead of the MXGP of Turkey, which will get underway this Saturday (1 September) at the brand-new Afyon Motor Sports Center.

Calvin Vlaanderen 10
Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to avoid Ben when he crashed in front of me, so I ended up on the ground, too. The rest well, it’s what everyone saw on TV. I tried to get on track for race two but after the sighting lap I realised I was in no condition to race so I opted to sit out the moto; now I will use all the little time available to recover as much as possible in order to be ready for Turkey. I would like to thank the team for their great job: this weekend was really unkind to us, but hopefully we can turn things around in less than a week.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
It’s a shame that Calvin did not have the chance to fight for a good result here in Bulgaria, because he had the speed to do well. Obviously, we are glad he’s more or less OK – yes, he is battered and bruised, but all bones seem to be in place – but we understand the decision not to compete in race two if he felt he was not in the right condition to perform. Hopefully he’ll be fit for Turkey, so that we can resume battle.

Words and image courtesy Honda HRC