Australia’s Charli Cannon again made positive steps forward at round three of the 2023 Women’s World Motocross Championship in Spain, finishing in an impressive fourth place.
Cannon returned to Europe after a few weeks of hard work in Australia and was determined to improve her riding and results. Landing in Spain in the days prior, she reconnected with her JK Racing Yamaha Team and got down to business.
Her weekend started slowly, being nearly 10 seconds a lap slower than the pace setters in the first open practice session. While each circuit she goes to is new for her, 10 seconds is a huge gap to make up but she regrouped for the qualifying session and while eighth place doesn’t sound sensational, she had reduced the gap to the leaders to three seconds.
As race one got away, Cannon was inside the top 10 and trying to fight her way forward. She was able to capitalise on some mistakes of other riders and pass a few more to move her way to fifth place by the halfway stage.
As the laps wound down, she came under pressure when the rider behind her started gaining ground. She tried to pick up the pace, but it came unravelled when she was trying to find her way passed a lapped rider only to tangle bars and fall down. She picked back up in eighth place and rode to the finish line disappointed with her result.
Race two and Cannon came out swinging. From a top five start, she burst through the field to take the lead in the opening laps. She kept the intensity and increased her lead over the ensuing laps. In her wake were the best female riders in the world.
She put up a huge fight but slowly the chasing pack caught up with her. She wasn’t doing a double jump leading onto the rollers and that was the spot that allowed others to pass. She dropped to second, then to third and then in the closing laps, she went to fourth, which is where she finished. The result in that race was equal to her best so far, but this was far closer to the front, and capturing the lead should boost her confidence.
She earned fourth for the round, a season best so far and now sits alone in fifth place in the championship at the halfway stage.
“I was able to get my best round result and equal my best round result so I’m happy about that,” Cannon said. “It felt so good getting to the front and I tried to stay focussed and keep doing my laps. I held it as long as I could and ended up in fourth which was a little disappointing as I really wanted a podium.
“But I’m happy with the progress we made and the JK Racing Yamaha team have been great. Everyone is so supportive we are starting to gel and know how everyone works.
“I’m competing in Italy this weekend at a national event with the guys, then it’s off to France for another WMX round.
“I also want to thank everyone for their support back in Australia. I see and read all the messages and it’s really flattering to have so many people interested in my racing. Let’s aim for the podium in France and see if we can make that happen,” she concluded.
WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), 25:50.085
2 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +0:28.705
3 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), +0:32.275
4 Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), +0:35.055
5 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:55.953
6 Martine Hughes (NOR, Husqvarna), +1:03.765
7 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), +1:16.207
8 Charli Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +1:17.874
9 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:42.652
10 Jamie Astudillo (USA, KTM), +1:52.431
WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), 24:18.919
2 Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), +0:07.313
3 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), +0:13.139
4 Charli Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +0:15.370
5 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), +0:16.248
6 Nancy van de Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:47.026
7 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:47.611
8 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:12.418
9 Britt Jans-Beken (NED, Yamaha), +1:22.541
10 Mathea Seleboe (NOR, Yamaha), +1:27.937
WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification:
1 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 50 Points
2 Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 40 Points
3 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 40 Points
4 Charli Cannon (AUS, YAM), 31 Points
5 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 30 Points
6 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 30 Points
7 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 25 Points
8 Nancy van de Ven (NED, YAM), 24 Points
9 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 22 Points
10 Jamie Astudillo (USA, KTM), 21 Points
WMX – Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 135 Points
2 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 125 Points
3 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 116 Points
4 Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 98 Points
5 Charli Cannon (AUS, YAM), 89 Points
6 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 83 Points
7 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 75 Points
8 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 71 Points
9 Nancy van de Ven (NED, YAM), 66 Points
10 Britt Jans-Beken (NED, YAM), 64 Points