Duncan Extends WMX Championship Lead with Double Race Victory
Altherm Yamaha Official WMX's Courtney Duncan extended her lead in the Women's Motocross World Championship Standings and celebrated from the top step of the podium after taking her fifth consecutive race win. MXFonta Yamaha Official WMX's Kiara Fontanesi put in two consistent second-place finishes for second overall and helped Yamaha increase its lead in the Manufacturers Championship Classification.
NoFear Yamaha Official WMX's Nancy van de Ven tied for third place this weekend with a 3-4 result. Her crash in the second race was the reason she missed the podium, as the position is awarded to the rider with the best result in the final race.
The third round of the Women's Motocross World Championship took place this weekend at the classic style, hilly and clay based, 'Talkessel Circuit' in Teutschenthal, Germany. There was no doubting the torque and power of Yamaha's YZ250F as all three of the Official WMX riders were inside the top four going into turn one. Altherm Yamaha Official WMX's Duncan led for the first few turns before a slight loss of traction on a left-hand turn opened the door for MXFonta Yamaha Official WMX's Kiara Fontanesi to go through. The defending champion executed that same turn perfectly and was able to slingshot up the inside of Duncan to take over the lead, as NoFear Yamaha Official WMX's Nancy van de Ven shook Larissa Papenmeier to take control of third place.
As the championship leader with the most race wins under her belt, Duncan remained calm in second place for the entire race before making a move on Fontanesi with two-laps to go. Fontanesi bobbled and lost balance on a rutted section of the track allowing for Duncan to run away for her fourth consecutive race win. Sensible final laps for Fontanesi and van de Ven put a Yamaha on every step of the podium.
When the girls lined up for race two, they were faced with a greater challenge with the circuit being wetter and rougher in preparation for the MXGP and MX2 Grand Prix races that follow.
Once again, all three Yamaha riders launched out of the gate with Duncan leading van de Ven and Fontanesi around turn one. After a brief off-track excursion - a result of a short landing - Fontanesi had he work cut out as she tried to pass van de Ven. Eventually, the Italian got the job done and set a personal best lap of the race in the process.
With ten minutes plus two laps to go, Van de Ven fell in one of the deep ruts and dropped back to sixth-place. The Dutch rider made an impressive come-back and challenged Papenmeier for third place on the final lap of the race. Unfortunately, another small mistake in a rutted section of the track meant she had to settle for fourth-place.
Fontanesi would have liked to battle Duncan for the lead, but the New Zealander had already checked out. The 'Kiwi Girl' Duncan rode smooth and made it another perfect weekend after lighting the candles for the fifth time in a row.
Duncan now leads the WMX World Championship with 140 points over Larissa Papenmeier on 125-points. Fontanesi has moved up to third-place in the championship chase and is tied on 118-points with van de Ven.
The next round of the FIM Women's Motocross World Championship will take place on Fontanesi's home soil in Ottobiano, Italy, on the weekend of June 17th.
WMX World Championship Leader, 140-points
"I am really happy with how the weekend went. To go 1-1 on a track that is not one of my favourites is pretty good for me, and the championship. I think the best part of the racing for me this weekend was my starts. They were on point, and it's good to start up front and bring it home."
3rd WMX World Championship Standings, 118-points
"To be honest I am pretty happy with how this weekend went. I have had some bad races at the last rounds where I have crashed, so it is good to keep the bike on two-wheels and build some confidence and get some solid points. I have to be happy with two times second. It's good for the championship and I look forward to going to Italy for the next round."