Long wait til Women MX World Championship 2021- another 13 weeks in fact- what’s in store?

Long wait til Women MX World Championship 2021- another 13 weeks in fact- what’s in store?

It has been long wait to see Women Motocross World Championship get underway for 2021, in fact it’s another 13 weeks until WMX Round One begins at Loket, MXGP of Czech Republic on July 25th. With 2020 WMX riders handling all disruptions to calendar and race format over course of 11 months, 2021 season will be far more condensed affair with 5 Rounds running over just 14 weeks.

Steffi Laier winning WMX Title in 2010 Photo Credit: KTM

From opening WMX Round on hard-pack track in heat of summer, to Lommel the following weekend- WMX riders will most certainly deal with different conditions than previous seasons, which has amassed total of mere 5 Women MX World Champions from initial season in 2005 through to present day.

Setting pace on what Women could achieve on the track, Germany’s Steffi Laier proved trail-blazer in her own right winning the first Women World MX Cup in 2005, backing up victory claiming 3 consecutive WMX Titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011. With Steffi’s career spanning best part of a decade, it was NZ’s Katherine Oberlin-Brown (nee Prumm) who broke Steffi’s run of success winning Women’s World MX Cup in 2006 and 2007 before retiring in 2008 due to effects of injury.

Both these women set precedent for how Women’s World Motocross would evolve, securing the Championship within World MX status by 2008. If next decade marks 2nd phase of WMX, French rider and only female Team owner in MXGP paddock from 2019- Livia Lancelot gave all watching glimpse on delivering fervent passion to race each and every season. Magical displays of determination were witnessed when Livia won 2 WMX Championship- 8 years apart. 2008 and 2016.

Kiara Fontanesi winning 2012 WMX Championship Photo Credit: Kiara archives

Livia’s competitiveness equaled Italian Yamaha rider Kiara Fontanesi. At 18 years of age, Kiara rolled out impressive victory, winning WMX in 2012, followed by string of Titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015, then repeated startling performance by taking the Championship again in 2017 and 2018. With total of 11 years racing Women MX World Championship to present day, winning 6 WMX Titles, history has certainly been set in stone- with precedent yet to be broken.

If there remains any luck in racing WMX, it could well come down to 2021 Round 3 at MXGP of Turkey, which is where defending Champion Courtney Duncan won Round 5 in 2019. Making debut WMX appearance in 2016, there is no doubt the fiercely determined NZ’der has many more goals to achieve, after taking WMX Championships for the past 2 years.

For Duncan, making flight to Europe pre-WMX Round 1 end of July, followed by racing Round 2 at Lommel, 3 in Turkey, and final 2 Rounds in Spain and Italy- this year’s 14 week stint will be game changer for making it 3 WMX Titles in a row. That’s unless oh-so-close but just missed out on Overall win-  rider’s Nancy Van de Ven, or Larissa Papenmeier stand top of podium step instead.

Courtney Duncan winning 2020 WMX at Trentino Photo Credit: MXGP

For sure, young, emerging yet now with enough experience racing WMX- rider’s Lynn Valk, Line Dam, Shana van der Vlist, Taila O’Hare and even better if America’s Jordan Jarvis can make the trek across to race, the future of Women MX World Championship remains bright. Who knows, all watching may even see increased number of Rounds, increased Media coverage and increased number of WMX Champions over the next decade!

Header photo: WMX MXGP of Trentino 2020 Photo Credit: MXGP

Words: Sharon Cox.

 

 

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