Yamaha Whitewashes WMX Podium while Van De Moosdijk Experiences First EMX250 Round Victory
It was a Yamaha whitewash on the WMX podium at the fourth round of the FIM Women's Motocross Championship in Ottobiano, Italy, where only 1-point separated Yamaha's Official WMX Championship contenders. As the winner of the final race, NoFear Yamaha Official WMX's Nancy van de Ven was awarded the Grand Prix victory despite finishing on the same 45-points as the MXFonta Yamaha Official WMX's Italian star Kiara Fontanesi. Altherm Yamaha Official WMX's Courtney Duncan finished second in both races and scored 44-points to stand on the third step of the podium.
In sweltering hot conditions, all three girls stunned the field with the speed of their YZ250F's in the opening race of the weekend as they made up the top-five around turn-one. Initially, Courtney Duncan was the best placed before she clipped the rear wheel of the leader Larissa Papenmeier on Lap-2 & fell from second position. Fontanesi capitalized on the New Zealander's misfortune and stole the lead from Papenmeier one lap later.
Looking comfortable on the Italian sand, Dutch starlet Nancy van de Ven hounded Papenmeier for second place as Duncan bounced back from her fall. With three laps to go, the 'Kiwi' had found her stride and blitzed past both van de Ven and Papenmeier while hanging off the back of her YZ250F with the throttle wide open through the wave section. Van de Ven followed her through to take claim of third-place, as Duncan reeled in the fan favourite Fontanesi.
After a gripping last lap duel, it was Fontanesi who brought the crowd to their feet as she hammered home the race win - her first of the 2018 season. Duncan crossed the line in second place ahead of van de Ven in third.
Race 2 saw another Yamaha Family feud as the three lightening quick YZ250F riders went bar-to-bar for the race and Grand Prix wins. In what was one of the tightest races of the season, van de Ven pinned it up the inside of Duncan on the opening lap of the race and managed to keep the New Zealander at bay as she stormed to her first race and Grand Prix win of the season. Fontanesi rode a smart race in the wake of van de Ven and Duncan and managed to tie with van de Ven on 45-points for the Grand Prix win.
Only 1-point off of a third consecutive Grand Prix win, Duncan stood on the third step of the podium with 44-points, but was happy to maintain her 21-point lead over van de Ven and Fontanesi who are tied for second place, on 163-points.
Two rounds remain in the 2018 FIM Women's Motocross World Championship with a three month break before the penultimate round which will take place on van de Ven's home turf, the Dutch TT Circuit, Assen, The Netherlands on the weekend of September 16th.
In the EMX250 class, ATES4-TESAR Yamaha Official EMX250's Roan van de Moosdijk carried his momentum from the EMX250 round of France, where he stood on the podium for the first time this season, into Ottobiano for the seventh round of the EMX250 Championship where he reached yet another milestone in his bright young career.
The talented Dutchman was nothing short of brilliant in pursuit of his first ever EMX250 Championship victory, which came as a result of two hard-fought third-place finishes. Meanwhile, his wounded teammate Nicholas Lapucci did his best to brave the pain of an injured right-hand. The young Italian was determined to ride for his home fans, and did his team proud with the 5-points he managed to score despite his lack of strength.
The next round of the EMX250 Championship will take place in the treacherous sand of Lommel, Belgium on the weekend of August 5th.