Constant downpours of rain over the days leading in had saturated the illustrious black sand of The Netherlands making it even more brutal than usual. Van de Ven, born and bred in Vlissingen, The Netherlands, is no stranger to treacherous conditions and excelled as she charged to an impressive second place finish in the opening race of the weekend.
Papenmeier challenged van de Ven, and the eventual race winner Kiara Fontanesi, for the first race victory of the Dutch Grand Prix but tangled with Fontanesi and was punted off the track 50 meters from the checkered flag. She rejoined the circuit as quickly as possible and finished third.
In the second and final race of the weekend, Papenmeier made a strong statement with an impressive holeshot and a dominating performance to win by 21-seconds over the defending World Champion Courtney Duncan.
Crucial mistakes cost van de Ven second-overall. She was demoted to third place in Race 2 after Duncan reclaimed second position in the final corner.
Papenmeier’s Grand Prix win was the fourth of her career. The 30-year-old German remains second in the WMX Championship, while van de Ven is fourth, 2-points shy of medal winning position.
Also supporting the FIM MXGP, MX2 and WMX World Championship in Valkenswaard was the opening round of the EMX250 Championship where the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 lined up their talented youngsters Gianluca Facchetti and Thibault Benistant.
Facchetti and Benistant got their 2020 EMX250 campaigns off to promising starts with Facchetti topping the time sheet in Group 2 and Benistant setting the second fastest time in Group 1.
Despite being amongst some of the quickest riders in qualifying, a dramatic first race saw Facchetti finish sixth after crashing out of third position. Benistant fought back from last position on Lap-1 to finish 11th.
Determined to bounce back from his Race 1 result, Benistant impressed in Race 2 as he powered his YZ250F to a third-place finish, which was enough to start his season with a top-five overall finish.
With no points on the board in Race 2 after falling to 31st position, Facchetti dropped from sixth to 13th in the EMX250 Championship standings.
The third round of the WMX World Championship will take place on the weekend of April 19th in Arroyomolinos, Spain, while the next round of the EMX250 Championship will take place on the weekend of April 26th in Agueda, Portugal.