Round four of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship has concluded with MX Fonta Racing GasGas’ Kiara Fontanesi taking an emotional and hard-fought overall victory to claim her first 1-1 result since 2018.
Both races saw incredible battles between Fontanesi and Bike IT MTX Kawasaki’s Courtney Ducan as we were treated to a race fight to the flag.
In race one, it was Larissa Papenmeier of Yamaha Racing 423 who grabbed the holeshot ahead of Duncan, Fontanesi and Ceres 71 Racing’s Nancy Van De Ven. Papenmeier then dropped out of the lead as Fontanesi was quick to make moves on the opening lap as she moved into first place.
Van De Ven then took fourth from Papenmeier, as Duncan set the fastest lap of the race and was looking to close in on Fontanesi. The Kiwi then took the gap down to 0.948 and kept the pressure there until the end of the race.
Amandine Verstappen then got around Shana Van Der Vlist for fifth after several attempts, as the two leaders started to pull away from Van De Ven. Further down the field, Sara Andersen and Daniela Guillen of RFME WMX Team battled for seventh position. Andersen eventually was able to get the job done and she finished the race in the same place.
Duncan then set the fastest lap of the race as she once again brought the gap down to under a second and then it was a drag race to the end.
The final two laps were intense to say the least as Duncan gave it her all as she pushed on the final corner to race Fontanesi to the flag. Though it was Fontanesi who secured the race victory by just 0.050 seconds.
In race two, Fontanesi was first out of the gate as Van Der Vlist and Duncan followed behind. Duncan was fast to get around Van Der Vlist and set her sights on the race leader.
While Fontanesi led the way, Papenmeier found herself under pressure from Van De Ven who was keen to get around the German. Van De Ven made several attempts though could not make it happen. Andersen was also right there in sixth position.
Fotnanesi then stretched her lead to 3.256 seconds with Duncan second and Van Der Vlist still third. Though as the race progressed it was clear that Duncan was not going to let the race leader get away as she upped her pace.
Papenmeier then found herself on the back wheel of Van Der Vlist as her and Van De Ven were coming in fast. Both riders set their personal fastest laps of the race as Papenmeier got around Van Der Vlist for third.
Drama struck Duncan who went down as she fought for the win. Though determined to not let the win slip away, the Kiwi gave it her best show as she managed to whittle down the gap from almost 14 seconds to 1.4 seconds within just a couple of laps.
With three laps to go Duncan was all over Fontanesi and we saw a repeat of the first race. Both riders fought hard, as Duncan sprinted for the finish, but it was Fontanesi who held onto the win to go 1-1 and finish her Turkish trip on a high.
Fontanesi stood on the top step of the podium, while Duncan was second and Papenmeier third.
Duncan continues to lead the WMX championship, 11 points ahead of Fontanesi and Van De Ven who moves up in the standings.
Kiara Fontanesi: “I am really happy for many reasons because a victory is always a victory. Coming back from pregnancy a year off, I had to really worked hard to be back to the podium. I knew I was competitive to be fighting for the victory and I’ve seen it already from the first round here, I knew it already from the beginning of the championship. But things were just not going well, I always believed. It is also very special for me because it’s another goal achieved, winning an overall GP as a mom. To see yourself first from the beginning to the end is something very special and I think I will keep this victory inside myself for a very long time!
For sure, it’s also good points for the championship. I did not really think about this because it is what makes you do mistakes and I just want to enjoy. If I can enjoy then I can ride good, and if I ride good, then I can win. And if I win, then I can take good points. So, this is the way I think”.
Courtney Duncan: “It’s frustrating. But hats off to Kiara, she was better on the day and she deserves the victory. Silly mistakes, it was not from a lack of trying, I pushed till the finish line but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I still keep the red plate and it is all positive moving forward, so I am looking forward to the next race. Now I will just continue to work. The speed is good, everything is working good… I just need to keep on these ways and keep doing what we are doing”.
Larissa Papenmeier: “My speed for the first two races was not enough. Not on Saturday and not today, but I knew that I had the speed for the top three and to finish on the podium. Saturday was really frustrating, but I had to do better today. First race was not great but I made some changes for the second one to finally be back on the podium. We have kind of a big break now. Also, the track in Spain is new for everybody, so I am really looking forward to it”.
Main Photo: WMX Start
Bottom Photos: 1. Kiara Fontanesi 2. Courtney Duncan
WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), 24:58.447; 2. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:00.050; 3. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:44.584; 4. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:47.101; 5. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:49.461; 6. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +1:00.283; 7. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:08.396; 8. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), +1:12.445; 9. Lynn Valk (NED, Husqvarna), +1:19.101; 10. Elisa Galvagno (ITA, Yamaha), +1:41.622;
WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), 25:11.912; 2. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:01.428; 3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:32.936; 4. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:38.571; 5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:47.563; 6. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +0:54.019; 7. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:07.508; 8. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), +1:12.936; 9. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, Honda), +1:15.217; 10. Lynn Valk (NED, Husqvarna), +1:31.050;
WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 50 points; 2. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 44 p.; 3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 38 p.; 4. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 38 p.; 5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 31 p.; 6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KAW), 30 p.; 7. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 29 p.; 8. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), 26 p.; 9. Lynn Valk (NED, HUS), 23 p.; 10. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, HON), 20 p.;
WMX – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 176 points; 2. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 167 p.; 3. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 148 p.; 4. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 144 p.; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 133 p.; 6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KAW), 124 p.; 7. Lynn Valk (NED, HUS), 121 p.; 8. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 101 p.; 9. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), 98 p.; 10. Elisa Galvagno (ITA, YAM), 71 p.;
WMX – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Kawasaki, 176 points; 2. GASGAS, 167 p.; 3. Yamaha, 152 p.; 4. KTM, 148 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 121 p.; 6. Honda, 63 p.; 7. Suzuki, 31 p.;
With the final races of the EMXOpen Championship decided, Davide De Bortoli celebrated his title victory as Honda SR Motoblouz’s Nicolas Dercourt secured his first overall victory of the season to win the round of Afyon in Turkey.
De Bortoli entered the day’s races knowing that he only needed to finish the opening race in order to secure the gold plate, though this did not mean that the Italian didn’t push for the win in both races despite that.
As the gate dropped for race one it was De Bortoli with the holeshot ahead of Dercourt and Simone Croci. JD Gunnex KTM Racing’s Tomasz Wysocki was right there as well along with Matej Jaros and Krisztian Tompa.
Dercourt then had his hands full with a hard charging Croci who eventually crashed, allowing Wysocki to go through into third.
De Bortoli then extended his lead to 3.804 seconds before going down several laps later which allowed Dercourt and Wysocki to move into first and second. The pair then battled for the win as Wysocki was setting fast laps and searching for a way around the leader.
At one stage De Bortoli was the fastest rider on track but was more than 10 seconds down on the leaders which made it tough for him to fight back for the race victory.
As the race came to a close Wysocki could not get around the hard-charging Dercourt who was victorious in the first race, as De Bortoli celebrated his title win with a third-place finish.
In race two it was Dercourt with a flying start as De Bortoli and Croci followed right behind. De Bortoli was keen to not to waste any time and get a win under his belt as he got around Dercourt on the opening lap.
Croci then began to work away at the gap between him and Dercourt, as the Italian looked for extra championship points. Croci made several attempts to pass the Frenchman though got caught out by Wysocki as he focused on Dercourt.
Wysocki snuck his way into third as him and Croci made contact, which as a result caused Croci to crash. The Pole continued to push hard as he got onto the back wheel of Dercourt and battled with the Frenchman until the end of the race.
In the end it was De Bortoli with the race win, with Dercourt 2.119 seconds behind and Wysocki in third.
With the final round of the EMX Open series done and dusted, we celebrated the winners as Nicolas Dercourt claimed his first overall victory of the season and took to the top step of the podium ahead of Davide De Bortoli and Tomasz Wysocki who finished third overall once again. Though in terms of the championship, it was Davide De Bortoli who finally turned that red plate to gold to secure the EMX Open Championship title ahead of Dercourt who was presented with the silver medal and Croci with the bronze.
Davide De Bortoli: “I am very happy with today. To win this championship is a big satisfaction for me and I would like to thank all the people that helped me, my father, my team and everyone. I would be better to win the championship with a race victory but I am very happy anyway”.
Nicolas Dercourt: “It gives me great pleasure to finish second this season. I was not able to race the way I wanted during the first round in Turkey because I was really sick. It was difficult to get things going during the second race, which made me loose points. This is why I really wanted to come back today with a round victory and with the goal of finishing second in the championship. I am very happy of the overall win, for the team, for the mechanics and everyone that has made this possible and especially for my racing. It makes me confident for what’s to come next. The season is not over for us, which proves that we are improving with the team and going in the right direction”.
Simone Croci: “Yeah, I had a good race on Saturday. Today I was unlucky to crash but the fitness was good, the bike was good, and I am really happy about this. A big thanks to my team, my family and all the sponsors supporting me. I don’t know if I will try again next season, but the championship is very nice. Good riders and good tracks”.
Tomasz Wysocki: “Today was a good day. I really pushed hard. In the second race I crashed in the second lap I think, so the guys passed me. I had to really push to get back. I was able to get past Simone and I tried to go for Nicolas. I pushed a lot after the crash, so I lost my energy. I could not find good lines to pass Nicolas. So yeah, first race I finished second and second race I finished third, just like Saturday. I am happy I could get the podium for my team, but I am a little bit frustrated because I felt like I could go for the win today”.
Main Photo: Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo, EMXOpen Championship podium, FIM Europe Delegate Sabin Olariu
Bottom Photos: 1.Davide De Bortoli 2. Nicolas Dercourt
EMXOpen – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA, Honda), 30:31.572; 2. Tomasz Wysocki (POL, KTM), +0:02.561; 3. Davide De Bortoli (ITA, Honda), +0:19.383; 4. Simone Croci (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:20.738; 5. Matej Jaros (CRO, Kawasaki), +1:16.336; 6. Krisztian Tompa (ROU, Husqvarna), +1:16.929; 7. Mustafa Cetin (TUR, Yamaha), -2 lap(s); 8. Batuhan Demiryol (TUR, KTM), -2 lap(s); 9. Mehmet Celik (TUR, KTM), -3 lap(s); 10. Sakir Senkalayci (TUR, KTM), -3 lap(s);
EMXOpen – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Davide De Bortoli (ITA, Honda), 30:09.919; 2. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA, Honda), +0:02.119; 3. Tomasz Wysocki (POL, KTM), +0:05.360; 4. Simone Croci (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:47.526; 5. Matej Jaros (CRO, Kawasaki), +1:15.997; 6. Krisztian Tompa (ROU, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s); 7. Batuhan Demiryol (TUR, KTM), -2 lap(s); 8. Mehmet Celik (TUR, KTM), -3 lap(s); 9. Sakir Senkalayci (TUR, KTM), -3 lap(s); 10. Murat Basterzi (TUR, KTM), -3 lap(s);
EMXOpen – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA, HON), 47 points; 2. Davide De Bortoli (ITA, HON), 45 p.; 3. Tomasz Wysocki (POL, KTM), 42 p.; 4. Simone Croci (ITA, HUS), 36 p.; 5. Matej Jaros (CRO, KAW), 32 p.; 6. Krisztian Tompa (ROU, HUS), 30 p.; 7. Batuhan Demiryol (TUR, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Mehmet Celik (TUR, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Sakir Senkalayci (TUR, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Murat Basterzi (TUR, KTM), 21 p.;
EMXOpen – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Davide De Bortoli (ITA, HON), 249 points; 2. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA, HON), 214 p.; 3. Simone Croci (ITA, HUS), 199 p.; 4. Micha-Boy De Waal (NED, HUS), 125 p.; 5. Tomasz Wysocki (POL, KTM), 125 p.; 6. Filippo Zonta (ITA, HON), 88 p.; 7. Andero Lusbo (EST, HUS), 80 p.; 8. Simeo Ubach (ESP, HUS), 78 p.; 9. Matej Jaros (CRO, KAW), 74 p.; 10. Krisztian Tompa (ROU, HUS), 64 p.;
EMXOpen – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Honda, 289 points; 2. Husqvarna, 248 p.; 3. KTM, 199 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 130 p.; 5. Yamaha, 102 p.; 6. GASGAS, 44 p.;