Motocross

Daniela Guillen Win Kick Starts 2023 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship

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WMX Start at the Grand Prix of Sardegna
Teenage sensation Lotte Van Drunen (401) leads the 2023 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship into battle for the first time in 2023.

The opening round of the 2023 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship has concluded in Riola Sardo, Italy, with Daniela Guillen securing the overall victory at the Grand Prix of Sardegna.

Round one provided plenty of action with some amazing racing from some of the favourite riders of the 2023 season including Kiwi Courtney Duncan and Daniela Guillen but also exciting performances from the young Dutch rider Lotte Van Drunen on her first full WMX season.

In the first WMX Race of the weekend, Nancy Van De Ven made a good start and was on her way to the holeshot but crashed, she tried to get going again but race one was over before it started for the current World Champion.

Daniela Guillen at the Grand Prix of Sardegna
Spaniard Daniela Guillen topped the podium with a 2-1 result.

This was the moment for young talent Lotte Van Drunen to grab the lead and she never gave it up going on to finish 30 seconds ahead of Daniela Guillen. The Spanish rider was set on second place riding a solid race but was too far behind to put pressure on Van Drunen for a chance at the lead.

Courtney Duncan did not have the best start and found herself 8th on lap 1 but the three-time WMX World Champion showed her experience and speed as she quickly moved up to sixth after lap two. She would go on to pass both Shana Van Der Vlist and Britt Jans-Beken on lap four to get grab third and kept the position until the end.

Van Der Vlist and Jans-Beken battled throughout the race as the two Dutchwomen were never able to get a clear advantage over each other. After some give and take between laps three and six, things settled for Van Der Vlist as she secured fourth place in front of Jans-Beken.

Behind the battling duo, Amandine Verstappen climbed up the order from 10th on lap one to finish 6th in front of Australian Rookie Charli Cannon who ended 7th after an even bigger climb through the field coming from 14th place on lap one. Behind them, Lynn Valk managed to secure to 9th after an average start.

Race two saw Giorgia Blasigh take the lead briefly after a great start but it was Nancy Van de Ven who took over after a few turns as this time she avoided any mishaps on the first turn.

However, Guillen found a rhythm and made her move on Van De Ven on lap two to take the lead and never give it up.

Van De Ven did manage to keep her 2nd place and tried to stick with Guillen but the Spanish rider was too quick. Valk was behind in 3rd place from laps two to five but was under threat from Van Drunen. The winner of race one didn’t get a good start and was 7th after lap one, although she let her speed do the talking and moved up the rank quickly.

Fourth by lap two Van Drunen reduced the gap with Valk to eventually overtake Valk on lap six. Van Drunen even pushed to be within a second of Van De Ven in the last lap but had to settle for third place.

Valk after getting passed by Van Drunen, had to also give up on the 4th position to Duncan on lap nine to remain 5th while Duncan had a solid race to end up just outside the podium in 4th.

Lotte Van Drunen at the Grand Prix of Sardegna
Fifteen-year-old Lotte Van Drunen took a win in her first moto and third in the second for second overall

Martine Hughes put in a great effort going from 11th on lap one to end in 6th position as she battled with Jans-Beken. Jans-Beken settled for 7th in the end. JK Racing Yamaha’s Charli Cannon had a rollercoaster of a race as she went from 5th on lap one to 12th on lap three. However, the Australian did manage to pick up the pace and finish 8th just in front of Fontanesi in 9th.

Finally, Van Der Vlist, after finding herself in 8th place at one stage dropped down the rank to finish at 10th place.

In the end, Daniela Guillen topped off the podium for the round in front of Lotte Van Drunen who started her season with a bang and Courtney Duncan rounded out the podium with two solid races over the weekend.

The Round of Sardinia was also marked by the return of six-time World Champion Kiara Fontanesi to the competition after more than a year. For her first round, she managed to get 8th overall on home soil.

“I’m so happy, I don’t believe it. I didn’t have the best start but then I found my rhythm and raced well. I also want to thank my team and my sponsors,” Guillen said.

Courtney Duncan at the Grand Prix of Sardegna
Former Champion Courtney Duncan started 2023 with a solid podium result.

WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), 24:48.974
2 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), +0:30.688
3 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:44.851
4 Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha), +1:06.030
5 Britt Jans-Beken (NED, Yamaha), +1:09.487
6 Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Yamaha), +1:12.824
7 Charli Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +1:13.411
8 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:18.310
9 Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), +1:55.333
10 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +2:12.051

WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), 25:24.663
2 Nancy van de Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:03.918
3 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), +0:04.712
4 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:23.234
5 Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), +0:25.572
6 Martine Hughes (NOR, Husqvarna), +0:48.838
7 Britt Jans-Beken (NED, Yamaha), +0:58.545
8 Charli Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +1:14.174
9 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +1:20.883
10 Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha) +1:24.858

WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification:
1 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 47 points
2 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 45 Points
3 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 38 Points
4 Britt Jans-Beken (NED, YAM), 30 Points
5 Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 29 Points
6 Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 28 Points
7 Charli Cannon (AUS, YAM), 27 Points
8 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 23 Points
9 Nancy van de Ven (NED, YAM), 22 Points
10 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 22 Points

WMX – Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 47 points
2 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 45 Points
3 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 38 Points
4 Britt Jans-Beken (NED, YAM), 30 Points
5 Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 29 Points
6 Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 28 Points
7 Charli Cannon (AUS, YAM), 27 Points
8 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 23 Points
9 Nancy van de Ven (NED, YAM), 22 Points
10 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 22 Points

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