Motocross

Steffi Laier takes three consecutive GP victories

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Red Bull KTM's Steffi Laier led in a clean sweep of the podiums for KTM riders in the third round of the women's World Championship on Sunday at Bellpuig to take victory in the GP of Catalunya and lead the championship by 25 clear points.

Second and third were KTM riders Livia Lancelot of France and Maria Franke of Germany but it was Laier, the only full KTM factory rider in the WMX that was again the dominant force on the track.

Steffi started her campaign on Saturday on a track that was heavy and rutted after rain. She was fastest in the timed practice, securing pole position, the holeshot and a decisive victory in the first moto to set herself up for another charge on the Bellpuig circuit on Sunday morning.

While riders enjoyed better weather conditions and a track that had dried out on Sunday, the German racer was again dominant. She battled it out with rival Lancelot in the early stages of the second moto then broke free to cross the line 14 seconds ahead of the French rider, two seconds better than her winning margin on Saturday.

Steffi's success was all the more creditable because she had to put aside quite strong pain in her hip, the result of a crash in training earlier in the week. She is now well on her way to defending her world championship title after three of the seven rounds of the competition, during which she has won five of six motos and was third in the remaining race. The next WMX GP is on June 6 in France after the MX1 and MX2 GP competition returns from racing in Glenn Helen in the USA.

"This was an awesome weekend for me," Laier said.

"I didn't really expect it because it's not my favorite track here, but they worked on it and made some changes to the wave section and some other stuff. In the first race I won the holeshot and the race, but I wouldn't say it was easy. Then I didn't have such a good start in the second race because the gate hit back. I managed to catch Livia in the third lap and then I tried to make a gap between us because I know its difficult trying to overtake here and to get past the back markers. But I had everything under control and I'm very happy about the win."

Main Photo: Steffi Laier Credit: Ray Archer

GP Catalunya WMX Results
1. Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM 25-25‰ÛÓ50
2. Livia Lancelot, France, KTM, 22-22‰ÛÓ44
3. Maria Franke, Germany, KTM 18-20‰ÛÓ38
4. Larissa Papenmeier, Germany, Suzuki, 20-18‰ÛÓ38
5. Natalie Kane, Britain, KTM 16-16‰ÛÓ32

Championship standings after three of seven rounds
1. Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM, 145 points
2. Livia Lancelot, France, KTM, 120 points
3. Maria Franke, Germany, KTM 103 points
4. Natalie Kane, Britain, KTM 102
5. Larissa Papenmeier, Germany, Suzuki, 99

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