Daniela Guillen on top of the first WMX Round of the Season.
The first round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship has concluded in Riola Sardo, and it was RFME GasGas WMX Team’s Daniela Guillen who secured the overall victory of the Grand Prix of Sardegna.
We saw plenty of action with some amazing racing from some of the favourite riders of the 2023 season including DRT Kawasaki’s Courtney Duncan and Daniela Guillen but also exciting performances from the young rider Lotte Van Drunen on her first full WMX season.
In the first WMX Race of the weekend, Nancy Van De Ven of Ceres 71 Racing made a speedy start and was on her way to pass the first turn ahead but crashed and try to get back racing but race 1 was finished before it started for the current World Champion.
This was the moment for young talent Lotte Van Drunen to get the lead to never give it up showing a very confident racing as she finished 30 seconds ahead of Daniela Guillen. The Spanish rider was set on the second place displaying a solid race throughout. Too far to put pressure on Van Drunen she stayed second.
Courtney Duncan did not have the best start based on her standards and found herself 8th on lap 1 but the three-time WMX World Champion showed her experience and speed as she quickly moved up to sixth after lap 2. She would go on to pass both Shana Van Der Vlist and Britt Jans-Beken on lap 4 to get to 3rd and kept this position until the end.
Van Der Vlist and Jans-Beken battled throughout race 1 as the two Dutchwomen were never able to get a clean advantage on each other. After a give and take between lap 3 and 6, things settled for Van Der Vlist to finish 4th in front of Jans-Beken 5th.
Behind them Amandine Verstappen managed to regularly move up the order from 10th on lap 1 to finish 6th in front of Charli Cannon who ended 7th after an even bigger climb from the 14th place on lap 1. Behind them, Fantic Maddii Factory Racing’s Lynn Valk managed to get to 9th after an average start.
In Race 2, while Giorgia Blasigh took the lead briefly after a great start but it was Nancy Van de Ven who took the lead after few turns as she avoided any mishaps on the first turn.
However, Guillen found a rhythm and make her move on Van De Ven on lap 2 to take the lead and never give it up.
Van De Ven did manage to keep her 2nd place and tried to stick with Guillen but the Spanish was too quick. Valk was behind on 3rd place from lap 2 to 5 but was under threat from Van Drunen. The winner of race 1, did not start the best way as she was 7th after lap 1, although she let her speed talk and moved up the rank quickly. 4th already in lap 2 Van Drunen reduced the gap with Valk to eventually overtake Valk on lap 6. Van Drunen even pushed to be within 1 second of Van De Ven in the last lap but kept her 3rd place.
Valk after getting passed by Van Drunen, had to also give up on the 4th position to Duncan on lap 9 to remain 5th while Duncan had a solid race to end up just outside the podium in 4th.
Martine Hughes put a great effort as she went from 11th on lap 1 to end up in 6th position as she battle with Jans-Beken on lap 8. Jans-Beken settled for 7th in the end. JK Racing Yamaha’s Charli Cannon had a rollercoaster of a race as she went from 5th on lap 1 to 12th on lap 3. However the Australian did manage to pick up the pace and finish8th just in front Fontanesi in 9th.
Finally, Van Der Vlist, after finding herself to 8th place between lap 7 and 9 went down the rank to finish at the 10th place.
In the end, Daniela Guillen was on top of the podium in front of Lotte Van Drunen 2nd who started her season with a bang and 3rd was Courtney Duncan with two solid races over the weekend. The Round of Sardinia was also marked by the return of six-time World Champion Kiara Fontanesi to the competition after more than a year. For her first round she managed to get 8th overall on home soil.
Daniela Guillen: “I’m so happy, I don’t believe it. I didn’t have the best start but then I found my rhythm and raced well. I also want to thank my team and my sponsors.”
WMX – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), 24:48.974; 2. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), +0:30.688; 3. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:44.851; 4. Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha), +1:06.030; 5. Britt Jans-Beken (NED, Yamaha), +1:09.487; 6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, Yamaha), +1:12.824; 7. Charli Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +1:13.411; 8. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:18.310; 9. Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), +1:55.333; 10. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +2:12.051.
WMX – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GASGAS), 25:24.663; 2. Nancy van de Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:03.918; 3. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, Kawasaki), +0:04.712; 4. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Kawasaki), +0:23.234; 5. Lynn Valk (NED, Fantic), +0:25.572; 6. Martine Hughes (NOR, Husqvarna), +0:48.838; 7. Britt Jans-Beken (NED, Yamaha), +0:58.545; 8. Charli Cannon (AUS, Yamaha), +1:14.174; 9. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GASGAS), +1:20.883; 10. Shana van der Vlist (NED, Yamaha) +1:24.858.
WMX – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 47 points; 2. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 45 p.; 3. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 38 p.; 4. Britt Jans-Beken (NED, YAM), 30 p.; 5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 29 p.; 6. Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 28 p.; 7. Charli Cannon (AUS, YAM), 27 p.; 8. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 23 p.; 9. Nancy van de Ven (NED, YAM), 22 p.; 10. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 22 p.
WMX – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Daniela Guillen (ESP, GAS), 47 points; 2. Lotte Van Drunen (NED, KAW), 45 p.; 3. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 38 p.; 4. Britt Jans-Beken (NED, YAM), 30 p.; 5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 29 p.; 6. Lynn Valk (NED, FAN), 28 p.; 7. Charli Cannon (AUS, YAM), 27 p.; 8. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, GAS), 23 p.; 9. Nancy van de Ven (NED, YAM), 22 p.; 10. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 22 p.