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Duncan extends WMX title lead

The penultimate round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship has concluded with defending Champion Courtney Duncan of Bike it MTX Kawasaki taking the overall victory at the Spanish round ahead of Nancy Van De Ven of Ceres 71 Racing and Kiara Fontanesi.

The WMX championship is heating up, which was evident during today’s action-packed races that saw plenty of excitement from the title contenders.

In the first race, it was Shana Van der Vlist who took the holeshot ahead of Fontanesi and Van De Ven. Van De Ven was quick to jump into the lead, while Fontanesi also got around Van der Vlist for second.

Series leader Duncan started the race in around fifth and a lap or so later was already in third after passes on Van der Vlist and Gabriela Seisdedos of RFME WMX Team.

Fontanesi continued to lead the race with a 1.711 second advantage to Van De Ven, as Duncan started to close in on the Dutch rider ahead of her.

Seisdedos was having a strong beginning to the race but was forced to DNF as she was seen walking back to the paddock.

Duncan then set the fastest lap of the race as she began to close in on Fontanesi and before we knew it, we had an intense battle for the lead. The two banged bars which resulted in Fontanesi going down. The Italian managed to pick herself up in third.

And as it looked like Duncan was going to take a race victory, she crashed big while pulling a tear-off, which allowed Van De Ven to take the lead and go on to win the race, as Fontanesi caught on to the back of Duncan in the final laps but could not make a pass stick, therefore finishing third.

In race two, it was Larissa Papenmeier of Yamaha Racing 423 who got the holeshot ahead of Van De Ven and Duncan who got around Van der Vlist for second and third. Meanwhile Fontanesi was fourth.

Duncan then took second position from Van De Ven, who looked to respond immediately, but the New Zealander was able to secure the spot. She then went after Papenmeier for the lead.

As Duncan led, Sara Andersen was going after Van De Ven for second, as Fontanesi got by Lynn Valk for fifth, after making a mistake.

Duncan then set the fastest lap of the race as she extended her lead to 6.153 seconds over Van De Ven, while Fontanesi got Papenmeier for fourth. The German tried to respond but Fontanesi was already well ahead.

Fontanesi continued her charge forward as Papenmeier came under pressure from Daniela Guillen of RFME WMX Team, this of course sent the Spanish crowd wild.

Fontanesi then made another mistake as she lost ground to Van De Ven as Duncan went on to win the race and the Spanish round, with Van De Ven second in the race and on the podium, while Fontanesi joined the pair on the podium to finish third.

Heading into the final round in Pietramurata for the round of Trentino, Duncan leads the championship by 16 points over Fontanesi and Van De Ven, who is a further 12 points behind.

Courtney Duncan: “I was under a lot of pressure today. The second race was pretty good. I was able to make some good passes on the first lap. I thought I did not too bad out there and rode pretty smooth. So obviously I am happy today with another overall. My plan is the same as always. Just give my all, deliver my best performance and do everything I know how to do like I always do. Also, go in open minded and be ready for tough scenarios. It will be what it will be”.

Nancy Van De Ven: “I was struggling during the whole season, but race by race I am getting better and feeling better. Actually, I took a good start in the first race, I was riding my own race with a really good rhythm and I could take advantage of two riders’ mistakes. That allowed me to take the win and ride my own race easily. During the second race, I was riding and feeling okay, not as good as I was feeling in the first race though and I was just trying to stay in the second place because Kiara and Andersen were pretty close. I finished second for a second overall. So, I actually feel very happy and good. I feel like I am getting better at every race, and I am looking forward to the next one. 

Kiara Fontanesi: “If you look at the results, it’s 3-3. I got the podium and felt good riding. I still managed to get the pole position, which is pretty good. So overall, I am happy with my riding this weekend. Of course, I was hoping for better results because I needed to win to be in a better position for the championship. Having said this, I will not give up until the very end of the championship because this is what I learned”.

Main Photo: Courtney Duncan

Bottom Photos: 1. Nancy Van De Ven 2. Kiara Fontanesi

WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), 24:46.750; 2. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:05.314; 3. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +0:05.783; 4. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:25.970; 5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:28.397; 6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:30.947; 7. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, Honda), +0:49.668; 8. Lynn Valk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:51.550; 9. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), +0:51.936; 10. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:11.836;

WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), 25:12.532; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:19.304; 3. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +0:22.742; 4. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +0:29.126; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:30.161; 6. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), +0:37.192; 7. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:14.423; 8. Jamie Astudillo (USA, KTM), +1:21.817; 9. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, Honda), +1:25.664; 10. Mathea Seleboe (NOR, Yamaha), +1:50.685;

WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 47 points; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 47 p.; 3. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 40 p.; 4. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 34 p.; 5. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KAW), 29 p.; 7. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, HON), 26 p.; 9. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 26 p.; 10. Lynn Valk (NED, HUS), 19 p.;

WMX – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 223 points; 2. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 207 p.; 3. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 195 p.; 4. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 170 p.; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 167 p.; 6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KAW), 153 p.; 7. Lynn Valk (NED, HUS), 140 p.; 8. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 130 p.; 9. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), 125 p.; 10. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, HON), 89 p.;

WMX – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Kawasaki, 223 points; 2. GASGAS, 207 p.; 3. Yamaha, 199 p.; 4. KTM, 182 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 140 p.; 6. Honda, 89 p.; 7. Suzuki, 39 p.;

Round five of the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing championship has concluded in Arroyomolinos as Ivano Van Erp of Yamaha Europe EMX125 MJC went on to take the overall victory at the Spanish round of the series.

The European 125cc category delivered some interesting races for the huge crowd of Spanish fans that filled the grandstands around the intu-Xanadù Arroyomolinos circuit.

In the first EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing heat, it was Julius Mikula who got into an early lead ahead of Alexis Fueri of Fantic Factory Team Maddii, Scott Smulders of No Fear / Jumbo BT Racing Team and Karlis Alberts Reisulis of Yamaha Europe EMX125 MJC. Meanwhile the series leader Valerio Lata of MRT Racing Team KTM started in around 23rd position.

Nicolas Duhamel of Team VHR KTM Racing started well in fourth ahead of Kay Karssemakers of Husqvarna SKS Racing NL. Smulders was looking to take over the lead as Duhamel got into second.

Mikula then led Duhamle, Smulders and Edgar Canet from RFME GasGas MX Junior Team, as Van Erp got around Bobby Bruce of ASA United GasGas Racing Team for fifth. Lucas Coenen of 9MM Energy Drink Bud Racing Kawasaki also got around Bruce, as the Brit dropped down to sixth.

The action within the top 10 was extremely close, as riders traded positions and battled intensely. Meanwhile further down the field, Lata ran into some troubles just as he was getting back within the top 10 and as a result fell to 32nd.

Duhamel was another rider to crash, which allowed Canet to get all over the back wheel of Mikula and challenge the Czech rider for the lead. As Canet took over first position, Mikula came under more pressure from Van Erp who moved into second and set his sights on the win. It took three laps for Van Erp to make a pass for the lead.

Lucas Coenen picked up his pace as he started to make good passes to move up the order. The Belgian then caught up with Bruce and was able to get around him for third. It took a few laps, but Coenen also caught up with Canet and took second from the Spaniard with four laps remaining.

Van Erp went on to win the race ahead of Coenen and Canet.

In race two, it was Pablo Gutierrez who took the holeshot from Nicolo Turaglio, Lata and Smulders. Lata was keen on making up for the 18th place finish in race one as he was quick to get around Turaglio and move into second.

Bruce and Karssemakers started the race in ninth and 10th, while Sacha Coenen of 9MM Energy Drink Bud Racing Kawasaki also started well in fourth. His brother Lucas Coenen was inside the top 10 too, but later crashed and dropped way down the order.

Gutierrez continued to lead Lata by 5.153 seconds, as Smulders dropped a few positions and then later made a mistake which allowed Bruce to move up to sixth. The GasGas rider then picked up another position as Van Erp went off track. Xavier Cazal from Team VHR KTM Racing was the next right in his sights, and he was able to also pass him and get into fourth place.

As Lata took the lead, further down the order, Lucas Coenen began his comeback as he got himself into 14th place, while his brother Sacha Coenen was getting in the mix with Lata and Gutierrez, gaining ground on both riders ahead. The Kawasaki rider was on track for his first podium finish, but his day ended in a DNF.

Lata then got ahead by 4.458 seconds over Gutierrez as Bruce picked up his pace and caught up with the Spanish rider. He needed to push hard but ultimately was able to get the job done to finish the race second behind Lata who was the race winner.

With a 1-4 result, Van Erp bagged himself his second overall victory of the season, with Bruce placing second overall and Lucas Coenen securing his third consecutive podium after coming back to eighth place in the second race.

Despite not finishing on the podium, Lata still leads the championship with an 11-point advantage over Bruce. Karssemakers is third just five points behind.

Ivano Van Erp: “It’s unbelievable. Two not-so-good starts. I came from 10th in the first one, I think. I was then able to take the lead after 15 minutes, which was very nice. In the second race, I believe I was 7th or 8th at the start, and I came from behind but also made a small mistake. I had to keep going and I saw on the pit board after 20 minutes that I had the overall, so I kept my focus and won the overall again. I train a lot, so I believe I can do it again. It’s a great feeling. I hope to get three great races in Trentino, we head there, and we’ll see what it brings. Thank you to everyone, my fans, family and sponsors”.

Bobby Bruce: “It was good. I did not have a great start and had a bike issue which has been the same the whole season, but it was good for me to make some chances for the second race, and I felt like I could come alive again. The track was good, it was quite technical, so you had to give it your all in every lap. It was a nice and solid day and looking forward to the next round. My plan is just to keep doing what I’m doing really. I felt like last round we lost a lot of points but came back strong this round. We’ll just keep doing what we do and hopefully it pays off.”

Lucas Coenen: “Today was a difficult day. The start was bad. First one I was behind and could not really make my way up. The second race was also not a good start. I was sixth and had a small crash which took me back to eighth place. I was a little bit disappointed, but we stay focused. It’s getting better now. Three podiums in a row. It feels good to be in that position. I know where I can be and I will keep working towards my goal”.

Valerio Lata: “Yes, it was difficult day. I had a crash in the first race and finished 20th. But then I had a good start in the second race and finished first. Looking forward to the triple header in Trentino. Thank you everyone”.

Main Photo: Ivano Van Erp

Bottom Photos: 1. Valerio Lata 2. Bobby Bruce passing Manuel Carreras Lopez

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Ivano Van Erp (NED, Yamaha), 30:03.821; 2. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Kawasaki/BUD), +0:00.331; 3. Edgar Canet (ESP, GASGAS), +0:13.031; 4. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GASGAS), +0:13.752; 5. Scott Smulders (NED, Husqvarna), +0:17.668; 6. Sacha Coenen (BEL, Kawasaki/BUD), +0:23.094; 7. Julius Mikula (CZE, KTM), +0:32.755; 8. Kay Karssemakers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:37.720; 9. Xavier Cazal (FRA, KTM), +0:40.624; 10. Karlis Alberts Reisulis (LAT, Yamaha), +0:42.388;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Valerio Lata (ITA, KTM), 30:22.851; 2. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GASGAS), +0:04.076; 3. Pablo Gutierrez (ESP, GASGAS), +0:05.811; 4. Ivano Van Erp (NED, Yamaha), +0:08.470; 5. Kay Karssemakers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:13.294; 6. Xavier Cazal (FRA, KTM), +0:17.194; 7. Karlis Alberts Reisulis (LAT, Yamaha), +0:19.290; 8. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Kawasaki/BUD), +0:21.832; 9. Julius Mikula (CZE, KTM), +0:33.120; 10. Scott Smulders (NED, Husqvarna), +0:35.725;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Ivano Van Erp (NED, YAM), 43 points; 2. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GAS), 40 p.; 3. Lucas Coenen (BEL, KAW), 35 p.; 4. Pablo Gutierrez (ESP, GAS), 29 p.; 5. Kay Karssemakers (NED, HUS), 29 p.; 6. Valerio Lata (ITA, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Xavier Cazal (FRA, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Scott Smulders (NED, HUS), 27 p.; 9. Julius Mikula (CZE, KTM), 26 p.; 10. Karlis Alberts Reisulis (LAT, YAM), 25 p.;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Valerio Lata (ITA, KTM), 174 points; 2. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GAS), 163 p.; 3. Kay Karssemakers (NED, HUS), 158 p.; 4. Lucas Coenen (BEL, KAW), 119 p.; 5. Ivano Van Erp (NED, YAM), 117 p.; 6. Scott Smulders (NED, HUS), 115 p.; 7. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KAW), 110 p.; 8. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, KTM), 106 p.; 9. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, YAM), 101 p.; 10. Haakon Osterhagen (NOR, FAN), 95 p.;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 203 points; 2. GASGAS, 193 p.; 3. Yamaha, 178 p.; 4. Kawasaki/BUD, 170 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 161 p.; 6. Fantic, 148 p.; 7. Kawasaki/KTM, 5 p.;