The Women of Motocross took to the Ottobiano circuit this weekend for the 4th round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. The racing spanned across both Saturday and Sunday with technical, sandy, and hot conditions. Taking the overall win for her first time this year was Nancy van de Ven.
The Italian fans proudly watched as the defending champion, MXFONTARACING Yamaha’s Kiara Fontanesi, fought her way to the podium at the home race against a handful of strong competitors. The spectator hill alongside the circuit was full of passionate and cheering fans both days adding to the close racing and Championship battles.
Saturday’s Race 1 was led by the first round winner and former red plate holder Larissa Papenmeier but she was closely followed by Fontanesi. Current points leader, Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Courtney Duncan was 3rd and Nancy van de Ven was right behind. At the end of the second lap however it was Fontanesi who took the lead from Papenmeier.
Duncan fell early in the race and had to work her way back forward but by lap 9 was closing on Van de Ven who felt the pressure and pushed to second in an attempt to put Papenmeier as a buffer. Duncan however not only passed Papenmeier but also found her way around Van de Ven. Duncan then charged up to the lead of Fontanesi and made a pass but Fontanesi was able to retake the spot then take the home race win over Duncan, Van de Ven, and Papenmeier with Shana van der Vlist in 5th.
Sunday’s Race 2 was the first event on the track and while temperatures in general where higher, the earlier timing of the race helped keep the women cool. When the gate fell it was again Papenmeier who rocketed off of the start with all the contenders just behind.
Papenmeier had Duncan chasing her along with Van de Ven and Fontanesi in the top 4 the first lap. The 3 Yamaha riders pursued the Suzuki of Papenmeier for the first 5 laps but all three were able to shift the German back on lap 6.
With Van de Ven in the lead Duncan kept applying the pressure and drove the pair forward creating a gap over Fontanesi and Papenmeier. Duncan was unable to pass Van de Ven in the end as the #85 took the race win with Duncan second, Fontanesi 3rd, and Papenmeier 4th. In the Overall Van de Ven’s 3-1 topped Fontanesi’s 1-3, and Duncan’s 2-2 while Papenmeier’s consistent 4-4 resulted in 4th and Shana van der Vlist’s 5-6 took the final spot in the top 5. Duncan will head to the next round in Assen with a 21 point championship lead.