Amidst the darkness of what was a spectacular evening in Losail, Qatar, where round one of the 2015 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship took place, the spotlight was on Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot as she made a perfect start to her 2015 world championship campaign.
When the gates dropped for the first WMX race of the season it was the young Dutch sensation Nancy Van de Ven who had her Yamaha YZ250F pinned stretching out a couple of bike lengths to take a very convincing holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki Bud Racing’s Meghan Rutledge and Yamaha MXFontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi.
After making quick work of Rutledge, Fontanesi went on to make a run at Van de Ven for the lead. While the little Dutch rider did an amazing job at holding off the three-times FIM WMX World Champion Kiara Fontanesi for at least quarter of the race, it ended devastatingly when she was pitched off her bike in spectacular fashion through the wave section.
With Van de Ven going in one direction, and her bike in another, Fontanesi was forced off the track to avoid the carnage which allowed last year’s WMX round of Qatar dominator Meghan Rutledge and the 2008 FIM Women’s Motocross World Champion Livia Lancelot to take over the top two positions.
While racing the remainder of the race in the thick of a three-way battle for the lead, it was Lancelot and Fontanesi who were able to take advantage of Rutledge, who was struggling with suspension, to go one - two with only a couple of laps to go.
After making the passes, it was down to the former WMX champion and the defending champion to vie for the first twenty-five points of the season. While it was a well fought race, it was Lancelot who held strong to take a narrow win over Fontanesi. Rutledge rode a smart remainder of the race for third while Italian Francesca Nocera finished fourth and Norwegian Genette Vaage rounded out the top five.
When the gates dropped for WMX race two it was Rutledge who was fired up leading the way around turn one ahead of Van de Ven, Larissa Papenmeier, Fontanesi and Lancelot.
Apparently, Fontanesi was in no mood to mess around and in one fell swoop she charged passed both Van de Ven and Rutledge to take over the lead. While Van de Ven was lucky to even walk away from her massive crash in race one, it was obvious her confidence hadn’t been knocked as she found a way around Rutledge for second.
The next to give Rutledge a hard time was none other than the super stylish Livia Lancelot who appeared to be in her groove as she styled it up around the jumpy circuit of Losail and launched her way into second.
With Fontanesi toting that same aggressive style she had back when she dominated the 2013 WMX championship, it seemed she had the race under control. Lancelot, on the other hand, had different ideas and was determined to redeem last year’s third place performance with a double victory here tonight.
Sure enough, Lancelot dropped the hammer, caught Fontanesi and forced the Italian into an error. With Fontanesi crashing, Lancelot took over the lead and stormed her way to the finish to wrap up a great night’s racing with a red plate and a perfect fifty point score.
Meanwhile Fontanesi made a quick recovery and managed to come home in second ahead of Van de Ven who rode impressive considering… Rutledge rode clever for fourth while the speedy German Larissa Papenmeier managed to round out the top five.
With the combination of points from both races, Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot took the first WMX round overall of 2015. Yamaha MXFontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi took second with Monster Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge rounding off the podium in third.
WMX Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), 24:34.777; 2. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:01.858; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:05.572; 4. Francesca Nocera (ITA, Suzuki), +0:57.201; 5. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), +1:04.584; 6. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +1:18.051; 7. Jessica Moore (AUS, KTM), +1:42.408; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +1:47.528; 9. Virginie Germond (SUI, Suzuki), +1:53.647; 10. Justine Charroux (FRA, Yamaha), +1:56.775
WMX Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), 25:00.222; 2. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:17.119; 3. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:26.372; 4. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:32.876; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +0:38.996; 6. Francesca Nocera (ITA, Suzuki), +1:04.795; 7. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), +1:31.552; 8. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +1:41.352; 9. Stefany Serrao (BRA, Honda), +1:44.415; 10. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +1:47.323
WMX Overall: 1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 50 points; 2. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 44 p.; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 38 p.; 4. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 33 p.; 5. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), 30 p.; 6. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 28 p.; 7. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 25 p.; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 24 p.; 9. Jessica Moore (AUS, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 21 p.
WMX Manufacturer: 1. Kawasaki, 50 points; 2. Yamaha, 44 p.; 3. Suzuki, 34 p.; 4. KTM, 30 p.; 5. Honda, 20 p.
MXGP QATAR – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1595m
Type of ground: hard pack
Weather conditions: clear
Crowd Attendance: 9000