2022 WMX Round 2 heads to MXGP of Portugal- who will win?

2022 WMX Round 2 heads to MXGP of Portugal- who will win?

2022 WMX Championship Round 2 heads to MXGP of Portugal this weekend with plenty at stake for the competitive field of 30 riders. Leading the points table with 47 points are Nancy Van de Ven ahead of fellow Dutch rider Lynn Valk- tied on count-back- with debut entry Martine Hughes rounding out top 3 on 36 points.

Nancy Van de Ven winning WMX Round One at MXGP of Mantova Credit: MXGP

2019, 2020 and 2021 Women’s French MX Champion Amandine Verstappen made nice work of 2 mottos at Opening Round in Mantova going 4-5 for 4th Overall. Definitely points are tight between 4th-6th with KTM rider Shana Van der Vlist securing 6-4 at Mantova and standing 5th Overall- only one point behind Verstappen- on 33.

Defending 2021 WMX Champion Courtney Duncan had her work cut out to match the fast and seasoned European riders in the Opening Round 4 weeks ago. Duncan was edged out by Van de Ven in Race 1, finishing 3rd, and got caught up in an incident at the start of Race 2, crossing the finish line in 9th.

Duncan, carrying the Red Plate #1- and plenty of weight of expectation on her shoulders- stands 6th on the table board on 32 points. No doubt, re-set back at Team base in the UK has adjusted the focus to optimum ability, pitching Duncan amongst the top contenders for a win at Agueda this weekend.

Previous WMX GP’s at the hard pack venue in Portugal have been successful for the Kiwi, with Duncan securing double moto wins in both 2018 and 2019. Close behind were Van de Ven and Larissa Papenmeier, sharing top steps of the podiums in both seasons. Hard luck for Lare at Opening Round at Mantova finishing 8th, pipped by Danish rider Sara Andersen on 7th Overall.

Martine Hughes WMX Round One Team Honda 114 Motorsports Image: MXGP

Stand out performances from debut entry Martine Hughes must be one rider to watch. Not only does the 17 year old have the expertise knowledge, support and guidance from her Team manager and owner Livia Lancelot, but also the backing that Livia believes Hughes has the ability to race at the pointy end of the field.

Hughes pulled off remarkable 5-3 for 3rd Overall and clocked 2nd fastest time in Qualifying- 0.610 seconds behind pole position of Van De Ven. And yes, Qualifying remains key for gate pick, as well as confidence booster pre-races 1 and 2, which are both Opening the day’s racing ahead of MX2 and MXGP.

Analysis of rest of field reveals Team line-up of riders which include 2 women for Team Honda 114 Motorsports: Martine Hughes and Australian Tahlia O’Hare. Yamaha has strong line up in Ceres 71 Racing with Nancy and Italian Giorgia Basigh, along with Larissa’s Team Yamaha Racing 423 with rider Alicia Reitze. Spanish Team RFME WMX adds to the double line-up of female riders with Daniela Guillen and Gabriela Seisdedos. 6x WMX Champion Kiara Fontanesi’s Team MX Fonta Racing has the only GASGAS rider in the field- Italian Busatto Priska.

Top picks: Nancy will nail the starts, CD will be dogged determined not to make a mistake, Valk will take on battle to get to the front, Verstappen will want to stay consistent, Van der Vlist will shuffle positions on track, Papenmeier will push pace early around hole-shot and Hughes will alter all odds for second time in a row.

WMX Round 2 at MXGP of Portugal, April 3-4. Header photo: MXGP and MXLink text.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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