MXFonta Yamaha Official WMX’s Kiara Fontanesi now leads the 2017 FIM WMX World Championship by 1 point after landing on the third step of the podium in Round 3 which took place last weekend at Ernée, France. NoFear Yamaha Official WMX’s Nancy van de Ven went 2 – 4 for second overall, while Altherm Yamaha Official WMX’s Courtney Duncan lost the championship lead after an enormous crash put her out of Race 1. The hearty New Zealander bounced back in Race 2 with an emphatic win, and has now won the most amount of races this season (three).
When the gates dropped with a thud on Saturday afternoon NoFear Yamaha Official WMX’s Nancy Van de Ven took the holeshot ahead of Larissa Papenmier and fellow YZ250F riding starlets Altherm Yamaha Official WMX’s Courtney Duncan and FontaMX Yamaha Official WMX’s Kiara Fontanesi. Fontanesi was the first rider to dump the clutch and twist the throttle as she charged past Duncan for third and applied pressure to Papenmier who eventually made a mistake and handed both Yamaha riders a position.
Fast from the very start, Duncan soon found her lines and passed both Fontanesi and Van de Ven on the same lap. The ‘Kiwi Girl’ – as her butt patch reads – is determined to raise the bar in women’s motocross, and despite already having the race lead and the red plate, continued to push her own limits.
There is a fine line between riding on the limit and going over it, as Duncan found out. The New Zealander tucked the front and crashed. She made a fast remount, and crossed the Finish Line for lap six in second place, hot on the heels of van de Ven. Despite having five laps remaining, she was eager to reclaim the lead as soon as possible and she opted to take the inside line on a corner that she typically went outside. The exit of the corner led into a jump that had a steep down ramp. She came up short, and sideways, and was slammed to the ground faster than she could blink.
After landing heavily on her back, Duncan was taken to the medical center for precautionary checks, while van de Ven tried to keep Fontanesi at bay. With two laps to go, the animated crowd were on the edge of their seats as van de Ven, Fontanesi and the defending champion Livia Lancelot battled for the lead.
Fontanesi, who is looking stronger than ever, ripped around the outside of van de Ven but bounced out of a rut two turns later and fell. Van de Ven took the lead back only to lose it again at the last minute to Lancelot who went on to win the opening race.
In the second race, which took place on Sunday morning, it was Yamaha’s very own holeshot queen – van de Ven – that led the Race 1 winner – Lancelot – around turn one.
After her insanely big crash on Saturday, the fans were surprised to see the brave ‘Kiwi Girl’ line up for Race 2 on Sunday. Being the soldier she is, she put all the pain and discomfort she was experiencing to one side and charged her way from fifth place forward to win the final race of the weekend ahead of Lancelot – the eventual grand prix winner.
Van de Ven dropped back to fourth which paired with her second place in Race 1 was enough to stand on the second step of the podium. The podium was rounded off by Fontanesi who went 4 – 3 for third.
With Altherm Yamaha’s Courtney Duncan taking no points in the opening race, FontaMX Yamaha’s Kiara Fontanesi has taken over the red plate. The Italian starlet now leads the WMX World Championship by 1 point over the Livia Lancelot. Duncan is now 7 points down, in third. The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place at Loket, in the Czech Republic.