WMX World Champion Kiara Fontanesi is still waiting for her first Grand Prix podium this season and after switching to Honda CRF250F material from the confines of her own team.
The 22-year-old Italian was left cursing her fortune after being run off the track at Losail, Qatar for the season-opener sustaining an ankle injury and then experiencing a problem with a stuck throttle for the second round of seven at Valkenswaard that caused her to DNF and miss a sure-fire rostrum result.
“I’m really disappointed,” the four-time world champ said. “I knew there would be a lot of work this year but I did not expect so much bad luck. I knew I would not be really 100 per cent prepared at the first race but we made a step for Valkenswaard and it was going well because I should have won the GP.
“After four titles I am here to win not for making up the numbers.”
Fontanesi took part in one of the best races of the Grand Prix in Holland with a three way battle between herself, long-term title rival Livia Lancelot and newcomer Courtney Duncan in the first moto for second place behind runaway leader Nancy Van der Ven from which she emerged victorious.
“This year there are more girls and it was good to make that step and compare ourselves to the others and see that even though we are not at 100 per cent we are still there,” ‘Fonta’ said. “We are testing while we are racing. If I know my bike then I do my rhythm. If I don’t know my bike then I don’t do the rhythm. I need to use Free Practice to work on the bike when I should be focussing on my pace. Anyway we made a step here.”
Fontanesi trails Duncan by 41 points in the standings with five rounds and 10 motos still to go. After last-gasp championship wins in the Czech Republic for the last two seasons the Italian knows better than anyone the value of perseverance. “If I have learned anything from the last few years it is that nothing is ever lost until the last moment so I will keep on trying my best,” she asserts.
WMX next joins MXGP for round three of their campaign at Teutschenthal and the Grand Prix of Germany on May 8.