The opening round of the 2021 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship has concluded in Loket with Courtney Duncan dominating the field to go 1-1 and win the round of Czech Republic.
In race one, it was Duncan who took the holeshot while several riders including, Kiara Fontanesi, Larissa Papenmeier, and Nancy Van De Ven got caught up in a first turn incident.
Duncan then led Shana Van Der Vlist and Lynn Valk who got around Amadine Verstappen, while Fontanesi, Papenmeier, and Van De Ven were fighting their way up to the top 5.
Lap by lap, Duncan edged out further, while Van De Ven, Fontanesi and Papenmeier continued their charge for valuable championship points.
In the end, Duncan won the race by an impressive 22.534 seconds over Van Der Vlist, while Valk placed third. Van De Ven managed to break into the top five for fifth, while Fontanesi and Papenmeier were sixth and seventh.
In race two, it was Papenmeier who got a flying start, though a couple of corners later it was Duncan who led the way. Van Der Vlist got another good start and battled inside the top three, while Fontanesi and Van De Ven started around sixth and seventh.
While Duncan started the second heat much like the first, this time around Papenmeier was not letting her get away easy as she kept close with the Kiwi for quite a few laps. And while the German searched for a way around the defending champion, it was Fontanesi who was the fastest rider on track as she caught up with the two leading ladies.
As Fontanesi caught up with Papenmeier, this was the perfect opportunity for Duncan to open up a gap, as the two ladies behind her were locked in battle.
Eventually, Fontanesi went through on Papenmeier for second, though not long after crashed and rejoined in fifth. She finished the race in eighth.
With three laps to go, we saw more drama as Duncan got caught up with a backmarker. The leader did go down but was able to pick herself up quickly to take the race win ahead of Papenmeier and Van De Ven.
With two race wins, it was Duncan who was the overall winner, with Van Der Vlist second and Papenmeier third. It is also how the championship looks right now as the ladies head into round two next weekend in Lommel, Belgium.
“We have to be happy with the weekend of course starting the championship with two wins is more than I can ask for, so I’m really happy,” Duncan said
“And as you say, two different races, two starts really helped, especially in the first one where I got a little bit of a gap and maintained that lead. And then race two was a little bit closer, having Larissa there which was cool and then I came together with a backmarker with three laps to go but managed to maintain the lead and win the overall”.
“I don’t feel too different, last year I was also defending the championship and I feel every year I still have a little bit of pressure and a target on my back, but I just do the best I can do each weekend and that’s all I can ask for”.
Runner-up Shana Van Der Vlist exceeded her expectations with the podium result.
“Before the weekend, I didn’t expect to be on the podium, but I am really happy. I like the track here in Loket. I had two good starts which was really important and I’m really happy how today went,” Van Der Vlist said.
Larissa Papenmeier was happy with the points today after a trying first moto.
“The first heat wasn’t that great, I had a bad start, I got stuck behind a rider that crashed so I had to stop,” Papenmeier explained. “I managed to get seventh eventually which I was not happy about, so I concentrated on the second heat. I got second, I came close to Courtney then Kiara passed me, I lost my rhythm, but I saw Kiara crashed so I was second again. I’m really happy with third overall at the first race, at least getting some points”.
WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), 24:12.041
2 Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:22.534
3 Lynn Valk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:27.839
4 Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:30.559
5 Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:36.583
6 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +0:37.359
7 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:38.074
8 Britt Jans-Beken (NED, KTM), +1:19.072
9 Line Dam (DEN, Yamaha), +1:23.162
10 Elisa Galvagno (ITA, Yamaha), +1:25.897
WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), 24:41.209
2 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Yamaha), +0:09.361
3 Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:31.191
4 Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:33.013
5 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +0:44.752
6 Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:48.751
7 Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), +0:55.608
8 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +1:09.799
9 Lynn Valk (NED, Husqvarna), +1:13.807
10 Tahlia Jade O’Hare (AUS, Honda), +1:21.675
WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification:
1 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 50 points
2 Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 40 points
3 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 36 points
4 Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 36 points
5 Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KAW), 33 points
6 Lynn Valk (NED, HUS), 32 p.
7 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 28 points
8 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 26 points
9 Daniela Guillen (ESP, KTM), 23 points
10 Elisa Galvagno (ITA, YAM), 17 points