MXGP

Daniela Guillen Opens 2024 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship With A Home Win

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Photo of FIM Women's Motocross World Championship rider Daniela Guillen
Spaniard Daniela Guillen got it done in front of her home fans for the 2024 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship opener. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

The season opener at Intu Xanadu Arroyomolinos in Spain marked a captivating start for the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in what promises to be an exhilarating and competitive season.

With a lineup full of talent and determination, anticipation for the 2024 WMX ran high and it didn’t disappoint with an incredible first round in Spain.

It was Spaniard Daniela Guillen who emerged triumphant, taking full advantage of the amazing home fan support throughout the weekend. She clinched victory in Spain and in so doing claimed the coveted Championship Leader’s red plate.

Lotte Van Drunen got off to a good start in Race One but it was defending champion and number One Courtney Duncan who quickly took the inside and led the race straight from the first corner. Lynn Valk and Daniela Guillen sneaked in on Van Drunen to get into second and third respectively after a couple of turns. Kiara Fontanesi was right behind the front quartet.

Guillen, in front of a loud home crowd that came to cheer and support her, made a successful pass on Valk to get to second and close in on Duncan. Meanwhile, Van Drunen went up to third following a nice move on Valk and was left with a clear track in front of her but could not do anything about Guillen and Duncan who were flying.

Photo of FIM Women's Motocross World Championship start
The women’s class of 2024 get underway in Spain.

It was meant to be for Guillen on this opening round on home soil as she pushed Duncan to the fault after relentlessly applying pressure to the Kiwi. While the Spaniard committed to the outside on a corner, Duncan missed the breaking point and tipped over. Duncan down, Guillen went through to take the lead and was on fire to bring it home and show great composure to clinch an impressive first race win.

While down, Duncan had to see Van Drunen flying past her in what must have been a frustrating mistake. Van Drunen finished second while Duncan controlled her pace to get the third place.

Valk had to pass the checkered flag in fourth position in front of Fontanesi fifth. The favourite contenders for the title all responded to the first race of the series.

In Race Two, Van Drunen started strongly while Guillen was fourth after the first corner passed Duncan and Valk to move up second in the opening lap.

Duncan who was third fell in the opening lap and dropped down to twenty-second.

Guillen pushed to stay in contact with Van Drunen who at that point was on the top of the podium. Both riders were in a league of their own as the gap with Sara Andersen in third was around thirty five seconds mid-race.

Photo of FIM Women's Motocross World Championship rider Lotte Van Drunen
Lotte Van Drunen took a pair of seconds for second overall to get her 2024 campaign off to a good start. Photo: Full Spectrum

From the halfway point, Fontanesi made her way up to sixth and finished fifth in the end for fifth overall. Duncan was making her way up through the field but made another mistake and found herself just outside the points. In the end, it was not the defending champions day, as the New Zealander finished nineteenth for a ninth place overall.

The battle between Van Drunen and Guillen heightened with fans sensing the urgency and started to rally behind the Spanish rider. Van Drunen hung on while she could but on lap seven, Guillen passed the young Dutch in front of the pitlane as fans were on their feet.

This intense battle was only starting as with two laps to go, a backmarker invited herself to party as Guillen’s flow got disrupted trying to pass her. Van Drunen took the chance to show more than a wheel. Right until the last turn Guillen had to give it all she had to maintain the lead the overall win. The Spaniard finally made the last jump in front and won at home. Van Drunen, second on the podium will be happy to have started this way as she displayed great speed throughout the whole weekend.

Photo of FIM Women's Motocross World Championship rider Lynn Valk
Two fourth place finishes were enough for Lynn Valk to take third place. Photo: Ray Archer

Completing the podium, and marking the day with her new bike and team, Valk controlled her race in fourth to make it to the podium, making it three podiums in a row counting last season while Andersen narrowly missed the podium with a third place and fourth overall.

“It’s amazing, I can’t even speak! I want to say a big thank you to the fans because the Spanish fans were amazing,” Guillen said. “wow! The second race was amazing with Lotte (Van Drunen). It was a tough battle but I want to thank the team because they did a great job with the bike and I feel good about it. Winning here at home is an amazing feeling and I’m so happy! See you next round with Red Plate this time”

Photo of FIM Women's Motocross World Championship rider Daniela Guillen
Daniela Guillen on top of the world. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), 24:17.366
2 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Yamaha), +0:04.978
3 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:18.316
4 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), +0:46.013
5 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +1:08.068
6 Martine Hughes (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:11.497
7 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:13.630
8 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Honda), +1:21.829
9 Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), +1:28.521
10 Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha), +1:31.322

WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), 24:33.314
2 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Yamaha), +0:00.472
3 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:23.893
4 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), +1:27.387
5 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +1:29.442
6 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Honda), +1:30.023
7 Martine Hughes (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:49.277
8 Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), +1:53.776
9 Danee Gelissen (NED, KTM), +2:00.620
10 Jana Sanchez Nequi (ESP, Yamaha), +2:03.383

WMX Overall – Top 10 Classification:
1 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 50 Points
2 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, YAM), 44 Points
3 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), 36 Points
4 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 34 Points
5 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 32 Points
6 Martine Hughes (NOR, KAW), 29 Points
7 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, HON), 28 Points
8 Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), 25 Points
9 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 22 Points
10 April Franzoni (FRA, HON), 20 Points

WMX World Championship – Top 10 Classification:
1 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 50 poPoints
2 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, YAM), 44 Points
3 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), 36 Points
4 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 34 Points
5 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 32 Points
6 Martine Hughes (NOR, KAW), 29 Points
7 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, HON), 28 Points
8 Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), 25 Points
9 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 22 Points
10 April Franzoni (FRA, HON), 20 Points

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