Women Motocross World Championship heads to Lommel Round 2- what to expect

Women Motocross World Championship heads to Lommel Round 2- what to expect

Women Motocross World Championship heads to the deep sands of Lommel for Round 2 of 5 at MXGP Flanders-Belgium this weekend. In stark contrast to WMX opening Round at Loket the previous weekend, a full-gate line-up of the world’s best female MX riders will contest their skill-set of race technique to gain top honours over course of Saturday’s Qualifying, Race 1 and 2.

Courtney Duncan holds the Red Plate after winning WMX Round One at Loket. Photo Credit: MXGP

Leading Overall points table is NZ’s Courtney Duncan taking double wins on the hard-pack circuit at MXGP Czech Republic, with fine performance by Shana Van Der Vlist standing 2nd Overall going 2-4 in Round One. Amongst plenty of changes of positions, racing at Loket provided more than fair share of upsets, with Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier making most of opportunities to stay up front and present, currently rounding out top 3 Overall.

Historically regarded as most challenging circuit to optimize race performance, Lommel will surely throw plenty of curve balls to WMX field, with predictions far from certain given the Women’s MX World Championship has never actually raced there before.

Nearest sand track included in previous WMX seasons has been Valkenswaard, which remains equally demanding of rider’s race-craft on track. Given up-turn of results on sand last year, whereby Duncan crashed heavily in R1, win by 6x WMX Champion Kiara Fontanesi in first race, followed by Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier win in R2, confirmed change of table standings is potent reality at any given Round.

As witnessed at WMX Round One in Loket, starts really were key to clearing space between mid-field pack, while at same time remaining on the ready to avoid back-markers all the way to the chequered. 2nd key factor was managing tight race schedule over course of one day. No doubt, by Race 2, all WMX riders had already put in stellar performance in Free Practice, Timed Practice and R1, only to line up again in the afternoon for R2.

Nancy Van de Ven WMX Round One at MXGP of Czech Republic Photo Credit: Yamaha Racing Official

So, what’s to expect? As 4th placed Overall rider Nancy van de Ven states: ‘Of course everyone can say, Nancy who comes from the Netherlands must be able to ride sand tracks. But they all can. All riders have trained on sand. Duncan has lived here. Fontanesi trains in Sardinia or comes to Lommel to train. Everyone trains in Lommel and everyone can ride well there’.

What will make the difference remains mental strength and self-belief to take on competition regardless of best lap times, points standings, or previous podiums. Fact alone states, WMX Round One qualifying time of 5th for Shana Van Der Vlist on 1.55.972 actually lent to going 2-4 for 2nd Overall. Equally, Fontanesi’s Qualifying time of 2nd on 1.52.701 was no guarantee the Italian 6x WMX Champion could hold off mishaps during racing, eventually finishing 7th Overall.

No doubt, WMX riders keen for redemption will be out in force come gate drop- not once but twice in one day. All eyes will be watching.

Header Photo: WMX Round One MXGP of Loket Photo Credit: MXGP.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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