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How Duncan claimed world title No.3

Courtney Duncan of Bike it MTX Kawasaki wrapped up her third consecutive FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship title at the final round in Trentino. And Brit Bobby Bruce battled to second in EMX125.

The Kiwi Duncan entered the final stage of the series with a 16-point advantage over her closest rival Kiara Fontanesi, but some bad luck in the races prevented the Italian from taking the battle to the final race as Duncan was able to secure the gold plate by the end of the first race.

In race one, it was Larissa Papenmeier of Yamaha Racing 423 who grabbed the holeshot. Fontanesi and Duncan were a little further behind on the opening lap. Bad luck struck Fontanesi not long after as she went down hard after getting caught up with another rider.

Papenmeier then led Amandine Verstappen of 9MM Energy Drink Bud Racing Kawasaki, Nancy Van De Ven of Ceres 71 Racing, Duncan and Lynn Valk. Van De Ven wasted no time to get into second place, as Fontanesi picked herself up in 32nd after her crash.

Duncan then caught onto the back wheel of Verstappen and passed her for third position on lap four. Meanwhile Van De Ven tried several times to get within striking distance of Papenmeier but could not make it happen as Papenmeier secured her first race victory of the season. Van De Ven finished third, while Duncan crossed the line third as the 2021 WMX Champion.

Fontanesi managed to get back to 15th place, but it was not enough to take the title fight to the final race.

In race two, it was once again Papenmeier with the holeshot as she led Duncan and Fontanesi. Valk started well once again as she was in fourth place, while Van De Ven was ninth on the opening lap.

Moments later we saw a repeat of what happened in race one, as Fontanesi went down once again and was right at the back of the field.

Papenmeier then led Duncan, Valk, Sara Andersen, Van De Ven, Talia O’Hare of Honda 114 Motorsport and Verstappen. But by the second lap we saw a change for the lead as Duncan was able to get around the German.

Van De Ven was also setting herself up to launch an attack on Andersen, as Fontanesi got by Giorgia Montini for 10th.

Duncan then stretched the lead to 4.391 seconds over Papenmeier who continued ahead of Valk and Van De Ven who finally managed to get by Andersen.

Duncan had full control of the race until the chequered flag, to add race win number five of the season as Papenmeier crossed the line second ahead of Van De Ven who was able to get by Valk.

With a race win and a second, Papenmeier won the final round of the series, with Duncan second on the podium, while Van De Ven was third.

In terms of the championship, Duncan secured her third consecutive world title as Nancy Van De Ven finished the 2021 season with the silver medal ahead of Fontanesi who had to settle for bronze.

With 268 points, Kawasaki win the WMX Manufacturers Championship ahead of Yamaha and GasGas.

Courtney Duncan: “Obviously it was a good season with good battles, good races and bad races. I just made the best out of every situation this year, fought for every point I could, and it feels great to win a third championship. It hasn’t probably really sunk it yet, but it will feel good tomorrow and the days to come. My day today started off not too bad. The first race I got third and I got a little nervous there. The girls out front ran really good but I was able to finish third and obviously close the championship with a race to go. I think I was in control with a couple laps into the race and rode really well to keep myself in that position. It was nice to end the season with a win and I am going to enjoy it”.

Nancy Van De Ven: “I put some pressure on myself because of course everyone who’s here wants to win a world title. But when you come close a few times, you want it even more and more because you almost taste it. I came here with a lot of points from second in the championship so It was pretty unexpected that I take the second place. It was unexpected but also a really nice way to end this difficult season. Today my riding felt really good. In the first race I was feeling so confident, but I just could not make a pass in the beginning of the race to lead, and I finished in second position. I had some good battles. In the second race I had a good start going into the first turn. But after I got a little close, had to give away a few positions and had to come a little bit from behind. Then I managed to come back to third position and third on the podium. This was a pretty nice way to end the season as well”.

Kiara Fontanesi: “I am happy about what I could give because I think it’s the best season I’ve had so far. Not in terms of results, but I have been really competitive on the bike. I felt really great, and I think the setup that I have is the best that I have ever had. So, I am really happy about that and about the speed and everything. For sure, I wanted to win but I had to deal with such bad luck this season and I think the bad luck won. It’s something that’s not up to me, so I cannot do anything about it. I just could be happy and proud of the races I could do, I hope not to have this bad luck next season”.

Larissa Papenmeier: “For sure. It was good to end the season like that. I was struggling a bit the whole season. I had some body problems. It was difficult for me for sure but really nice to end the season with a win. Also, well deserved to Courtney for the title, she deserved it and I am really happy for her”.

Main Photo – from left to right: FIM/CMS Director Antonio Alia Portela, Courtney Duncan, Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo.

Bottom Photos: 1. Courtney Duncan 1. Larissa Papenmeier

WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), 24:30.310; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:02.596; 3. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:03.889; 4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:13.690; 5. Lynn Valk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:16.957; 6. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:20.726; 7. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), +0:27.670; 8. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +0:29.202; 9. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, Honda), +0:51.209; 10. Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), +0:59.109;

WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), 24:51.718; 2. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:08.063; 3. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:13.235; 4. Lynn Valk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:14.133; 5. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +0:14.716; 6. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), +0:30.848; 7. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +0:38.501; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:39.459; 9. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:40.836; 10. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, Honda), +0:54.674;

WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 47 points; 2. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 45 p.; 3. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 42 p.; 4. Lynn Valk (NED, HUS), 34 p.; 5. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KAW), 31 p.; 6. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 29 p.; 7. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), 29 p.; 8. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, HON), 23 p.; 10. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 20 p.;

WMX – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 268 points; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 237 p.; 3. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 227 p.; 4. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 214 p.; 5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 197 p.; 6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KAW), 184 p.; 7. Lynn Valk (NED, HUS), 174 p.; 8. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 159 p.; 9. Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), 154 p.; 10. Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, HON), 112 p.;

WMX – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Kawasaki, 268 points; 2. Yamaha, 246 p.; 3. GASGAS, 230 p.; 4. KTM, 213 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 174 p.; 6. Honda, 112 p.; 7. Suzuki, 39 p.;

EMX 125

Ivano Van Erp of Yamaha Europe EMX125 MJC secured his third overall victory of the season at the round of Trentino after intense battles with the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing championship leader Valerio Lata of MRT Racing Team KTM and ASA United GasGas Racing’s Bobby Bruce.

In race one, it was Bruce who grabbed the holeshot from Lata, Scott Smulders of No Fear / Jumbo BT Racing Team, Andrea Viano and Van Erp. Bruce then pulled a 1.789 second lead over Lata as Van Erp got passed by Janis-Martins Reisulis.

Viano then started to push Smulders who was looking to respond but then the Dutchman crashed. He eventually came back to 11th.

On lap four, Van Erp got by Viano for third as he also set the fastest lap of the race. The Yamaha rider was then around five seconds behind Bruce and Lata. But as the race progressed Van Erp caught onto the back of the pair and then we witnessed a three-way battle for the win.

Lata cut Bruce’s gap considerably as he started to apply pressure onto the Brit and Van Erp made the most of this opportunity as he made an attempt to pass them both.

On lap 12 Lata was the new leader and it didn’t take long for Van Erp to get around Bruce also, as the GasGas rider dropped to third. Van Erp then focused on Lata and the pair fought closely until the end of the race.

Van Erp took the lead on several occasions, but Lata was able to respond and steal the victory from Van Erp, while Bruce finished third ahead of Bence Pregel and Kay Karssemakers of Husqvarna SKS Racing NL.

In race two, it was once again Bruce who got the holeshot, but a mistake from the Brit allowed Lata to quickly take the lead ahead of Van Erp. But by the end of the first lap we saw Van Erp get around Lata as he led the Italian, Bruce and Lucas Coenen of 9MM Energy Drink Bud Racing Kawasaki.

Van Erp then led by 2.291 seconds as Coenen got around Bruce for third. The Belgian then also set the fastest lap of the race. Further down the field a few of the other riders were also making passes as Marc-Antoine Rossi of Tech 32 got by Alexis Fueri of Fantic Factory Team Maddii and Ferruccio Zanchi of Yamaha Europe EMX125 MJC got around Pregel for 12th.

Van Erp continued to lead, with Lata keeping close and Coenen third, but then with just a few laps to go Lata managed to get onto the rear wheel of the Yamaha rider and it was game on for the race win again.

The gap went down to just 0.817 but Van Erp was able to hold on to it and win the race just 0.610 seconds ahead of Lata as Coenen crossed the line third, while Bruce was fourth ahead of Rossi in fifth.

With a second and a race win, Van Erp finished the day on the top step of the podium while Lata finished second and Bruce was third.

Lata continues to lead the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing championship standings 20 points over Bruce, while Karssemakers is a further 20 points behind. The European 125cc Championship will continue on Tuesday for the round of Pietramurata.  

Ivano Van Erp: “I felt good all day long in free and time practice. In the first race my start was not so great, and I had to come from seventh place, just got my concertation and got to third I think. Then I saw on my pit board eight seconds to Bobby and Valerio. I managed to cut the gap and have a nice battle in the end of the race with Valerio and then in the second race I had a better start and then on the second lap I passed Valerio, had good focus for the rest of the race to take the win so I am very happy”.

Valerio Lata: “Today it was quite difficult in the races but I had a good first race and took the victory and then in the second race I got a good start but Ivano was very fast, so I finished second. Now I’m ready for the next race here in Pietramurata.

Bobby Bruce: “We got two good starts today which was really good. I led a good amount of the race in the first one and just tensed up a bit. We didn’t really have so much time in between the races to get a good bike set-up, but I feel we’re making good progress. In the second race I felt good but the guys in front just had better pace today. I am excited for Tuesday to do it all again”.

Main Photo: Ivano Van Erp

Bottom Photos: 1. Valerio Lata 2. Battle between Bobby Bruce and Valerio Lata

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Valerio Lata (ITA, KTM), 29:04.551; 2. Ivano Van Erp (NED, Yamaha), +0:00.292; 3. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GASGAS), +0:17.743; 4. Bence Pergel (HUN, KTM), +0:30.302; 5. Kay Karssemakers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:34.019; 6. Andrea Viano (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:36.790; 7. Karlis Alberts Reisulis (LAT, Yamaha), +0:37.679; 8. Alexis Fueri (FRA, Fantic), +0:38.652; 9. Victor Puig (ESP, Yamaha), +0:40.284; 10. Antonio Gallego (ESP, GASGAS), +0:42.147;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Ivano Van Erp (NED, Yamaha), 29:03.183; 2. Valerio Lata (ITA, KTM), +0:00.610; 3. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Kawasaki/BUD), +0:20.577; 4. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GASGAS), +0:28.150; 5. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, KTM), +0:31.558; 6. Scott Smulders (NED, Husqvarna), +0:34.610; 7. Alexis Fueri (FRA, Fantic), +0:47.737; 8. Victor Puig (ESP, Yamaha), +0:56.473; 9. Kay Karssemakers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:58.690; 10. Karlis Alberts Reisulis (LAT, Yamaha), +1:01.045;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Ivano Van Erp (NED, YAM), 47 points; 2. Valerio Lata (ITA, KTM), 47 p.; 3. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GAS), 38 p.; 4. Lucas Coenen (BEL, KAW), 29 p.; 5. Kay Karssemakers (NED, HUS), 28 p.; 6. Alexis Fueri (FRA, FAN), 27 p.; 7. Bence Pergel (HUN, KTM), 26 p.; 8. Scott Smulders (NED, HUS), 25 p.; 9. Victor Puig (ESP, YAM), 25 p.; 10. Karlis Alberts Reisulis (LAT, YAM), 25 p.;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Valerio Lata (ITA, KTM), 221 points; 2. Bobby Bruce (GBR, GAS), 201 p.; 3. Kay Karssemakers (NED, HUS), 186 p.; 4. Ivano Van Erp (NED, YAM), 164 p.; 5. Lucas Coenen (BEL, KAW), 148 p.; 6. Scott Smulders (NED, HUS), 140 p.; 7. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, KTM), 130 p.; 8. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, YAM), 110 p.; 9. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KAW), 110 p.; 10. Haakon Osterhagen (NOR, FAN), 95 p.;

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 250 points; 2. GASGAS, 231 p.; 3. Yamaha, 225 p.; 4. Kawasaki/BUD, 199 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 192 p.; 6. Fantic, 175 p.; 7. Kawasaki/KTM, 5 p.;