With one of the most talented female motocross riders in the world being French, WMX in France has a massive following. Thousands of fans packed into the hillside here at Saint Jean d’Angely to watch their darling, Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot, the WMX championship leader, show the rest of the world what’s up in women’s motocross. While the undulating clay hills are much to the liking of Lancelot who was the most recent WMX winner at this venue back in 2014, it didn’t all go her way this weekend.
As a Dutch lady, all credit must be given to Yamaha’s Nancy Van de Ven who has grown up in the sand, for her hard-pack skill this weekend that saw her victorious here at round four of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship on Lancelot’s home soil in France.
In race one, Dutch lady Nancy Van de Ven put in a classic holeshot and checkout performance for her second race win of the season ahead of former WMX ace Larissa Papenmeier. The four time WMX World Champion MXFontaRacing Syneco’s Kiara Fontanesi set the pace in Timed Practice but struggled to find her rhythm in the opening race and only finished third ahead of the French wonder-woman Livia Lancelot who had a small tip over due to what appeared to be a front brake issue.
After some overnight track maintenance, the track was less challenging today for race two as yesterday’s winner Nancy Van de Ven pulled yet another massive holey. Lancelot was also quick off the gate this time and chased Van de Ven around turn one but was driven wide by Papenmeier. Papenmeier stalled her bike in turn two, which handed second place back to Lancelot. The defending world champion Fontanesi was quick to move into third but couldn’t get it together this weekend and eventually lost sight of the leaders Van de Ven and Lancelot.
At halfway, the noise on the fence line started picking up as Lancelot challenged Van de Ven for the lead. It may sound wrong in women’s motocross, but the hooters, as in air horns, were sounding off like crazy as Lancelot made an attempt to go around the outside of Van de Ven. Van de Ven showed Livia an elbow and took the lead back before Livia found a mint line through the following corner which had a sling shot effect and saw her find way more drive up the hill. Lancelot got a wheel on Van de Ven and pulled across to make the pass stick.
With nothing but clear track ahead, Lancelot inched away for the win in race two ahead of Van de Ven who was the eventual overall winner. Lancelot landed on the second step of the podium with a 4 – 1 result while Fontanesi finished the second moto 31 seconds back in third and went 3 – 3 for third overall.
KTM Silver Action’s Amandine Verstappen was fourth in Race 2 ahead of Suzuki’s Larissa Papenmeier who put in an impressive performance for fifth.
Livia Lancelot will take the Red Plate, as the championship leader, to round five of the WMX championship, which will take place at Mantova, Italy, on June 25th and 26th.
WMX Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), 24:53.517; 2. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +0:02.381; 3. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Honda), +0:25.397; 4. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:39.254; 5. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +1:01.394; 6. Joanna Miller (POL, KTM), +1:04.475; 7. Jessie Joineau (FRA, Honda), +1:08.525; 8. Justine Charroux (FRA, Yamaha), +1:16.442; 9. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +1:28.003; 10. Mariana Balbi (BRA, Kawasaki), +1:33.688
WMX Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), 24:18.738; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:02.336; 3. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Honda), +0:31.311; 4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +0:35.107; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +0:35.916; 6. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), +0:49.577; 7. Sara Andersen (DEN, Yamaha), +1:14.519; 8. Justine Charroux (FRA, Yamaha), +1:16.475; 9. Joanna Miller (POL, KTM), +1:20.217; 10. Jessie Joineau (FRA, Honda), +1:28.337
WMX Overall Top Ten: 1. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 47 points; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 43 p.; 3. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, HON), 40 p.; 4. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 38 p.; 5. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 34 p.; 6. Joanna Miller (POL, KTM), 27 p.; 7. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 26 p.; 8. Jessie Joineau (FRA, HON), 25 p.; 9. Sara Andersen (DEN, YAM), 24 p.; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 21 p.
WMX Championship Top Ten: 1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 179 points; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 172 p.; 3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 134 p.; 4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 122 p.; 5. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, HON), 107 p.; 6. Courtney Duncan (NZL, YAM), 102 p.; 7. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 92 p.; 8. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 80 p.; 9. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 71 p.; 10. Stephanie Laier (GER, KTM), 69 p.
WMX Manufacturer: 1. Yamaha, 189 points; 2. Kawasaki, 179 p.; 3. KTM, 141 p.; 4. Honda, 138 p.; 5. Suzuki, 137 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 22 p