After a challenging yet highly rewarding season of WMX racing where she claimed her fifth FIM Women's Motocross World Title and etched her name into the history books as the most successful female motocross rider in the world, MX Fonta Yamaha Official WMX's Kiara Fontanesi has been invited out to Japan to test her skills against some of the quickest men in the country.
This weekend, October 22nd, the 23-year-old Italian will be racing her Yamaha YZ250F in the IA2 class at the ninth round of the All Japan Motocross Championship where she will go head to head with the best 250cc riders in Japan, including Yamaha Factory Racing Team's latest Japanese prodigy Yusuke Watanabe. The event will take place at the Sportsland Sugo circuit in Miyagi Prefecture.
As a legend of WMX, this is not the first time that the Italian starlet will go up against the men. She was the only female to race a round of the FIM MX2 World Championship this year, which took place in the brutal sand of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, back in April. While she didn't score points at the MX2 Grand Prix of Europe, she did complete every lap of the race and felt that the experience was priceless.
Kiara landed in Japan 10 days ago and was privileged to test the Sportsland Sugo circuit ahead of racing this weekend. With poor conditions due to rain, the Italian is relieved to be racing her own Yamaha YZ250F, the same one that she races in the FIM Women's Motocross World Championship. She has done three days of testing on the Sportsland Sugo circuit where she felt she made some significant changes to her set up, one of which, was the addition of a Factory Dunlop rear tyre.
In between the days of testing, she has attended various media events in Tokyo, and was also a guest at the MotoGP of Japan which took place at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit last weekend.
"I really want to thank Yamaha and the race organizers for this amazing opportunity. I love being here, the people are incredible, they are all so friendly and extremely helpful. Since landing last Tuesday, I have been able to ride three times. It has been raining a lot, so the track has been really muddy, but I feel like we have made some big improvements on my bike and my lap-times have got a lot better. I was able to test a factory Dunlop tyre and that made a big difference. In between riding I have had many events to attend, one was the MotoGP in Motegi. On Friday we will have a press day at the track and then it's on to the race weekend which I am really looking forward to."
Yamaha Motor Europe MX Racing Manager
"After spending a year with another manufacturer and then returning to Yamaha in 2017 where she has just won her fifth FIM Women's Motocross World title, it is a great honor for Kiara to have been invited out to Japan by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. This is a fantastic opportunity for her to race in the Japanese championship against some of the fastest boys in Japan, where she will be able to learn the level of racing in another championship and area of the world. It's a great experience, I think the crowd in Sugo will be amazing and hopefully some cool results will come from it."