Kiara Fontanesi put her bid for a record fourth straight FIM Women's World Championship back on course with victory over principal rival Livia Lancelot at her home Grand Prix in eastern France last weekend. The Italian was beaten by the former number one and series leader by the slenderest of margins in the first moto on Saturday – less than two tenths of a second – as the fourth round of six in the 2015 campaign played out on the hilly hard-pack of Villars sous Ecot.
Fontanesi – three times a champion with the YZ250F – clinched the decisive second race on Sunday as Lancelot started badly and then crashed when she ran into the fallen Francesca Nocera. Lancelot's seven points compared to Kiara's twenty-five means that the standings have narrowed again after 'Fonta' was the rider who hit the dirt the previous weekend in Great Britain.
There is now just a gap of eight points between the two protagonists with meetings in Germany (Teutschenthal) and Czech Republic (Loket) and four motos in total to go.
"After England I wasn't looking at the championship any more because I lost a lot of points there and we only have six rounds," Fontanesi said, speaking after her second victory of the year. "I really wanted to win here in France. Yesterday [Saturday] I was on the way to do it but a lapped rider got in the way and I didn't expect Livia to be so close. She was smarter than me on the last corner and she passed me. I really wanted the GP so in the second moto I pushed harder and harder to keep making fastest laps and I saw on the pitboard that the gap was getting bigger and bigger. The speed was there, I took the GP and with what happened to Livia we are now back in there for the championship."
WMX joins MXGP again in Germany in three weeks time while the season-closer in the Czech Republic is likely to see a repeat of the 2014 nail-biting championship decider at the same venue where Fontanesi celebrated an emotional success over Meghan Rutledge.