Carrying the EMX250 Championship Leaders’ red plate for the first time in his career, Elzinga confirmed he is the apparent title threat with a dominant performance in Race 1. The number 44 got off to a brilliant start and made a quick pass for the lead on lap 2. From there, the Dutch ace proved the master of the orange Agueda soil as he stormed to a 12-second lead and a commanding race victory.
In Race 2, Elzinga was equally as impressive. The Dutchman started third and quickly moved forward to take the lead on lap 3. Racing with pressure from his closest championship rival, Cornelius Toendal, the ‘44’ highlighted his maturity and remained unphased for the entire 16 laps to secure another flawless win.
Elzinga now leads the championship by 16-points over Toendal. His Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 teammates Andrea Bonacorsi and Dave Kooiker are 12th and 20th in the Championship Standings after finishing 14th and 21st in Portugal, respectively.
The third round of the EMX250 Championship will take place in Maggiora, Italy, on May 7th and 8th.
The opening WMX race of the Portuguese Grand Prix was marked by the performance of Yamaha’s wonder ladies Lynn Valk, Nancy van de Ven and Larissa Papenmeier, and their relentless battle for the lead. When the gates dropped, the trio put all of the power of their YZ250Fs to good use as they made up the top-five on the exit of turn one. Papenmeier had the initial advantage but was quickly shuffled back by the championship leader, van de Ven, followed by Valk.
Van de Ven and Valk entered the second round of the FIM WMX World Championship tied on points at the top of the table. Determined to remain a firm challenger for the title, Valk picked up the pace on lap-4 and after a titanic battle with her Dutch compatriot, van de Ven, she managed to make two sensational passes to take the lead on lap-6.
Once at the front of the field, Valk was in a league of her own. The ‘172’ set the fastest lap after fastest lap and eventually stormed to a third race win of her career – and second in 2022. Van de Ven managed to pass Andersson with Papenmeier in tow, making it a Yamaha one, two and three at the flag.
In the final race, van de Ven led Valk around turn one but was quickly edged back to second position on lap-2 by the hard-charging Race 1 winner. Stamping her authority on the 2022 WMX World Championship, Valk set the pace and controlled the race from the front to the finish to celebrate her first Grand Prix victory with an incredible double race win. As a result, Valk leaves Portugal as the WMX Championship Leader.
After a heavy fall in Free Practice on Saturday, Van de Ven battled through the pain barrier to finish second in the race and overall, while Papenmeier finished fourth in Race 2 to secure her 44th career podium in third.
Van de Ven trails Valk by a mere six points going into the third round of the series that will take place in Riola, Sardinia, on the weekend of May 15th. Papenmeier has moved within 5-points of the top three, and she is now fourth.