2023 WMX Preview: The Contenders

2023 WMX Preview: The Contenders

The WMX 2023 season will get underway this weekend on the gnarly sand monitor of Riola Sardo in Sardinia and it may show to be the deepest class we’ve ever seen. Right here’s hoping for an thrilling championship chase!

There’s no higher place than the reigning champion, Nancy van de Ven. The Dutch expertise had been chasing the WMX title for a lot of years and after being agonisingly shut previously, lastly acquired the job achieved in 2022 and totally deserves her World title. Now that she has already achieved her purpose the strain is off going into 2023. Sure, she’s going to wish to reclaim the title however now she has already achieved her dream it ought to elevate the load off her shoulders which may assist her stepping into 2023.

Picture: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing

We acquired a taster of what Dutch sensation, Lotte van Drunen can do as she made her WMX debut in Turkey final yr on her 125cc. On her beneath powered machine up the lengthy Turkey begin straight she needed to come from the very again to complete seventh in each moto’s. There’s an argument available that van Drunen could possibly be essentially the most proficient lady within the class so it’s going to be thrilling to see her race a full WMX championship. She had signed to race with the F&H Kawasaki crew this yr however parted methods with the crew throughout her winter prep which is able to now see her have a privateer setup however will race a Kawasaki 250cc. She has time on her aspect to win a number of WMX titles so she will simply take pleasure in her rookie season however she could be very bold so little question will wish to win the title this yr. Don’t put it previous her as she is a sensational expertise.

She already has three WMX titles to her title and as she was chasing 4 in a row, Courtney Duncan sadly picked up an damage final yr which was a disgrace. She will probably be again and able to go in 2023 and stamp her authority within the class. The Kiwi has lots of expertise within the class and will probably be trying to remind her competitors early within the season that she continues to be the one to beat. With two rounds being in sand and the opening spherical within the smooth stuff, these rounds could also be about harm limitation. If she will get herself on the rostrum at these rounds then she’ll be exhausting to beat for the title as we all know how good she is on the exhausting pack.

Picture: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing

One rider that continues to develop and get higher and higher yearly is the spectacular Lynn Valk. Final yr she needed to be pleased with the silver medal within the WMX collection after a pricey DNF at Riola value her – she was solely 18 factors off the championship so with out that DNF we’ll by no means know the way shut she’d have challenged however going into 2023 she shouldn’t be underestimated. She now additionally has a manufacturing facility crew behind her inking a take care of the Fantic crew and she or he’ll be trying to repay the crew with their belief.

Pic: MX July / Eva Szabadfi Photograph

2022 was the second time, Kiara Fontanesi missed a WMX season as she has already been focusing away from racing constructing a household and have become a Mom for the second time. The Italian clearly loves this sport although as she’ll be again full-time in 2023. The Italian could be very decided and what a narrative it will be if she may turn into WMX champion once more. In 2022, she took away a bronze medal however she’ll be wanting so as to add one other title earlier than she hangs up her boots – her velocity and grittiness shouldn’t be underestimated.

One rider that’s tremendous constant and an everyday podium customer is German expertise, Larissa Papenmeier. She is rarely distant and has had gained GP’s previously however the WMX world title nonetheless eludes her – the closet she has acquired to date is 2020 as she completed runner up. She is likely one of the extra skilled riders within the class as she’s been racing the collection since 2008 – it’s good to nonetheless she her carry out on the highest degree of what she likes to do.

Pic: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing

One other younger rider that continues to develop and get higher is one more Dutchie within the type of Shana van der Vlist. She excels within the sand so don’t be stunned is she wins in these circumstances – she has even had a WMX purple plate previously. She has made a change for 2023 as she’s made the swap to a Yamaha machine. Maybe the one space she will enhance in is difficult pack, if she will try this she shouldn’t be distant.

Final yr was an actual escape season for Spanish expertise, Daniela Guillen. Attributable to accidents she solely raced two rounds of the collection ending 3-3-3-1 within the moto’s! It was a disgrace she picked up an damage simply when she seemed to be going from energy to energy however she’ll be trying to decide up the place she left off in 2022.

So far as debuts go, Martine Hughes had one to recollect as she secured her first WMX podium in her first attempt. Livia Lancelot who is aware of a factor or two in regards to the WMX class, determined to enroll Hughes and the belief she confirmed was repaid instantly. Hughes ended up a strong eighth in her rookie yr and for 2023 has switched to Husqvarna equipment – she could be very very proficient so will probably be in search of extra podiums this yr.

Picture: Thibault Images

Australian import, Charli Cannon made her WMX in debut final yr because the JK Yamaha Racing crew determined to get her to race a spherical and she or he instantly impressed. Cannon completed eighth in her first moto and was battling within the prime 5 and looking out good in moto two earlier than a crash leading to a damaged collarbone. She was pushing exhausting to attempt to impress – which she clearly did because the JK Yamaha crew have signed her up for 2023. Now she may have a full season to impress and adapt to the completely different life-style, cultures and European tracks.

It was yr for Danish expertise, Sara Andersen who was using with an damage and wanted an operation on the finish of the season however was is constant. Final yr she managed fifth within the championship however she’ll in all probability really feel she will do even higher when 100% wholesome so needs to be one to look out for.

Belgian expertise, Amandine Verstappen beforehand has held the purple plate within the collection throughout her days on the Yamaha and for 2023 she has signed up to return to the blue machine. She’ll be trying to rediscover her type she beforehand confirmed on the machine.

Final however not least, Giorgia Blasigh confirmed an enormous enchancment final yr and completed prime ten within the championship. For 2023, she has determined to swap Yamaha for KTM and will probably be trying to present the identical variety enchancment.

Article: Andy McKinstry

Important picture: Nigel McKinstry