Yamaha Leads WMX Manufacturers Classification Following the Success of Duncan, Fontanesi & van de Ven in Italy
Yamaha leads the Manufacturers Classification in the 2018 FIM Women's Motocross World Championship following the success of Courtney Duncan, Kiara Fontanesi and Nancy van de Ven at the opening round, which took place on the compact, hilly, clay-based circuit of Pietramurata, in the Trentino province of Italy this weekend, April 7th and 8th.
All three YZ250F riders, Altherm Yamaha Official WMX's Courtney Duncan, MXFonta Yamaha Official WMX's Kiara Fontanesi and No Fear Yamaha Official WMX's Nancy van de Ven tied on 40 -points for second place following the results of two interesting races.
After topping the charts in the Qualifying Session, with Fontanesi claiming the first Pole Position of 2018 by 1,8 seconds over Duncan, poor starts put the duo of front-runners to the test. Duncan emerged from turn-one in 11th place and quickly moved into 8th before a crash put her back in last-place, while Fontanesi was buried deep in the pack and crossed the first timing sector in 25th. The five-time FIM WMX World Champion, Kiara Fontanesi, wasted no time in demonstrating her undeniable talent as she rocketed from 25th place up into 11th on the opening lap. From there, every lap that passed, the Italian star got quicker and as a result she gained positions.
When the 2-Lap board was hoisted, Fontanesi was challenging for the lead, but her last lap surge fell short when she tucked the front-end on a cambered right-hand turn and crashed.
Still on the mend from a broken leg, which required three surgeries, van de Ven got off to a brilliant start. The brave Dutch girl has only been back on the bike for four-weeks and is racing with a leg that still contains metalwork in the form of a pin and 4 screws. Nevertheless she led the opening lap of the race before losing a position to the eventual race winner, Larissa Papenmeier, and fellow YZ250F star, Kiara Fontanesi.
Fontanesi's fall on the final lap set her back two positions and she crossed the finish line in 4th place. Van de Ven was a benefactor of Fontanesi's mistake and finished 2nd place, while Duncan made an absolutely incredible recovery to salvage 6th place.
In the final race of the weekend, Courtney Duncan redeemed herself with a flying start in Race 2 followed by a pass for the lead three turns later. The 'Kiwi Girl' was focused and in a league of her own as she led all 12 laps to win with a 20-second advantage over Fontanesi.
Due to the one-lined nature of the Pietramurata circuit, Fontanesi and van de Ven's mid-pack starts in Race 2 left them with a lot of work to do. As the fastest rider in the practice sessions, and with the fastest lap-time in Race 1 despite being in traffic, Fontanesi charged hard to finish a notable 2nd place, while van de Ven was nothing short of audacious in her hurry to 4th place.
It was tight at the finish with all three Yamaha stars finishing on the same points. In that situation, the overall result is determined by the classification of the final race. Altherm Yamaha Official WMX's Courtney Duncan's win in the final race landed her on the second step of the podium, while MXFonta Yamaha Official WMX's Kiara Fontanesi's 2nd place finish in Race 2 was enough to edge out No Fear Yamaha Official WMX's Nancy van de Ven for third.
The next round of the FIM Women's Motocross World Championship will take place on the weekend of April 15th in Agueda, Portugal.