Motocross

Lotte van Drunen Dominates Sardinia to Take WMX Championship Lead

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The opening race of the weekend saw roundwinner Lotte van Drunen deliver arguably the best ride of her young career. Photo: Full Spectrum

Lotte van Drunen rode to a dominant double-race victory at the second round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in Riola Sardo, Sardinia.

As a result, the 16-year-old Dutch star has taken the WMX Championship leader’s red-plate.

It was a good start in race one for world number one Courtney Duncan but it was home rider Kiara Fontanesi on the inside taking the lead in the first corner with Lynn Valk and Daniela Guillen following closely. A multi-rider crash saw Lotte Van Drunen lose many places after avoiding it while Valk quickly took the lead off Fontanesi in the opening lap.

The red plate holder Guillen didn’t take long to force her way past Duncan and get to 3rd place with the young Van Drunen already up to an impressive 5th place on lap two despite coming from the back of the pack.

On lap five, Guillen got around Fontanesi at the end of several passing attempts. Guillen was now second behind Valk who was showing great composure. Van Drunen in the meantime passed Duncan and Fontanesi who had nothing for the Dutch rider to get to third position.

Time was running out for Valk in the lead as Guillen reduced the gap meticulously to get ready to pounce on lap six. Guillen made her way to the lead and rushed forward while a Van Drunen on a mission also got past her compatriot Valk to go second.

Then a dramatic last lap unfolded as Guillen saw a four-second lead vanish in the last lap after running into a back-marker which allowed Van Drunen a last-gasp chance to put pressure on the leader. This is exactly what happened with only two corners to go when Van Drunen took the outside of the Spaniard and grasped the lead to go on to win Race one; her fifth race win of her career.

Valk rounded up the top three after a solid showing with Fontanesi marking good points in fourth, in front of the defending champion Duncan in fifth place.

In Race Two, Fontanesi took the holeshot in front of Duncan, Van Drunen, Guillen and Valk with most of all the biggest challengers right where they needed to be. Guillen on a charge managed to overtake everyone on the opening lap to lead the way with Van Drunen on her tail! Duncan third and Fontanesi fourth in the mix while Valk rounded the top five.

A great move from Valk as she passed Duncan to go fourth on the second lap. Valk didn’t stop there as she kept going to push behind Fontanesi and took the inside to get third.

While at the top, Van Drunen managed to take back the lead on lap three. She made the same move as in Race One to pass Guillen and got the best momentum showing all her sand riding qualities she is known for.

Round two of the 2024 WMX provided plenty of close racing action.

Van Drunen quickly pulled away from Guillen eeking out a five-second lead while Guillen also had a ten-second gap ahead of Valk in third

Duncan was very much on a charge to get to Fontanesi as she reduced the gap mid-way through although the Italian managed to keep her cool and remain fourth. The battle kept going as the two world champions battled it out and went toe to toe but Fontanesi held her ground in her home race to finish fourth while Duncan ended in fifth like in race one.

At the top, Van Drunen was simply the best increasing her lad until the end to win comfortably her second race of the day and her second overall win of her career. The ‘Sand Queen’ showed her ability once more on this tough surface to get the Red Plate and the lead in the Champinship in front of Guillen.

Valk rounded up the podium with an excellent performance over the weekend with a 3-3.

The riders will now focus on the next round in Galicia in what should be another exciting and challenging racing.

Photo of FIM Motocross World Championship MXGP rider Lotte van Drunen
The round win for Lotte van Drunen sees the Dutch rider move into the championship lead. Photo: Full Spectrum

WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Yamaha), 24:52.172
2 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), +0:01.446
3 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), +0:14.124
4 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +0:31.135
5 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:46.666
6 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +0:57.508
7 Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha), +1:09.729
8 Martine Hughes (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:19.648
9 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Honda), +1:21.075
10 Tyra Bäckström (SWE, GASGAS), -1 lap(s)

WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Yamaha), 24:32.380
2 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), +0:18.244
3 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), +0:28.001
4 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +0:46.936
5 Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:59.178
6 Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha), +1:02.774
7 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:04.013
8 Martine Hughes (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:26.206
9 Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), +1:27.368
10 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Honda), +1:28.279

WMX Overall – Top 10 Classification:
1 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, YAM), 50 Points
2 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 44 Points
3 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), 40 Points
4 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 36 Points
5 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 32 Points
6 Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 29 Points
7 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 29 Points
8 Martine Hughes (NOR, KAW), 26 Points
9 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, HON), 23 Points
10 Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), 20 Points

WMX World Championship – Top 10 Classification:
1 Lotte Van Drunen (NED, YAM), 94 Points
2 Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 94 Points
3 Lynn Valk (NED, KTM), 76 Points
4 Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 68 Points
5 Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 63 Points
6 Martine Hughes (NOR, KAW), 55 Points
7 Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 54 Points
8 Larissa Papenmeier (GER, HON), 51 Points
9 Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 49 Points
10 Malou Jakobsen (DEN, KTM), 45 Points

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