Livia Lancelot took her Team 114 Kawasaki to a double victory in the opening rounds of the FIM Women’s World Motocross Championship at Losail in Qatar and was joined on the podium by Meghan Rutledge.
The Kawasaki girls quickly settled in to third and fourth places at the start of the opening moto to keep a watchful eye on the leaders around the tricky track in the desert just outside Doha.
When the leading girl fell, both Kawasaki girls, with Meghan in front aboard the Monster Bud Racing Kawasaki, pounced on the new leader to quickly establish their dominance.
On the seventh of 11 laps the French girl made a clever inside pass on the Australian teenager to lead to the finish, but a couple of errors allowed the defending champion Kiara Fontanesi to push Meghan down to third.
Race two again saw Lancelot take command mid-moto to complete a clearcut double victory, while Rutledge crossed the line fourth to put the seal on third overall and give Kawasaki two of the three podium finishes. The series continues next Sunday at Nakonchaisri, 45 kilometres west of the Thai capital of Bangkok.
Post-race Livia Lancelot said: “It was a very good weekend, and I had a very good feeling on the bike. I had two very bad starts but came back in the top three very fast; in the first race Fontanesi and Van de Ven helped me as they made a mistake, then in the second one I put some pressure on Fontanesi and she made some mistakes.
“I’ve been working really hard with my trainer, my parents and my mechanic to prepare this season, and it’s such a good feeling to have the red plate again.”
Meghan Rutledge commented: “Obviously this weekend was not as good as last year; there are just a few problems we have to fix but I’m happy to be on the podium of this long series. I’m not 100 per cent yet, but I did the best I could and I’m happy with the points.
“Actually I’ve been sick coming to this GP, and couldn’t practice or go to the gym in the last week and a half so this podium is really good. The goal is to get another podium next week in Thailand, and then we have a couple of weeks to be stronger before the third round.”