In the top four of the 2013 World Series after the opening GP in Holland, both Meghan Rutledge and Steffi Laier will head up to Slovenia in a few days.
Twice second in Valkenswaard during the opening round of the 2013 World Championship, Australian Meghan Rutledge is a newcomer in Europe, as she just raced two events last year outside her native country. Third at the final GP in Germany and later winner of the Geneva Supercross, Meghan enjoyed the racing in Europe and found some deals to come back this year. “The competition in Europe is tough, but that is what makes a good race. The girls over there are very competitive and we all go out on the track wanting the same thing, being the #1" she said.
Meghan achieved strong results at the first GP in Holland, and aims for higher now now that she will compete the entire series, alongside the Australian Women's and Supercross Championships. “I have support from Kawasaki Australia in my country, and I’m glad that team Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki gave me the opportunity to ride their bike for the remainder of the season in Europe. I will test the bike next week in Hossegor, and then will travel to Slovenia and Italy for the next rounds of the series. Valkenswaard was extremely cold, the track was amazing, the atmosphere was crazy and racing was great. It was my first race of the season, I loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to be at the next round” said the enthusiast Meghan, only eighteen years old, who will compete at the X Games and later the Geneva Supercross again.
Coming back from a broken leg, multi World Champion Steffi Laier was happy with a fourth position in Valkenswaard, as the German didn’t really know what to expect for her comeback. “The goal in Valkenswaard was just to score as much points as possible, as I was allowed to ride the bike again only mid February, but without jumping or pushing. I came to Holland far from my normal fitness, so my goal there was to get top five results. The race conditions in Valkenswaard this year were actually not sand conditions, and the minus temperature gave me extra problems in my leg. I had after a little bit riding still pain in my leg in jumping, overall I ended 4th and its not a bad start for the World Championship” explained Steffi who had a difficult time in 2012.
“It was a long recovery as they discover after some weeks another broken part (stress fracture) over the knee. I was not allowed to put my leg on the ground for 8 weeks, and after the stress fracture was a little bit stable they needed to do another surgery to take a screw out. On top to that problems came also as my femur was not healing very fast! The first plan was to start with the bike in the beginning of December, but it all took much longer to recover and I needed to walk with crutches until beginning of January” she continues.
With a strong determination Steffi proved in Holland that she never gave up, and for sure she will be even stronger in the next events with Team Rabbit Kawasaki Benelux Racing. “We’ve decided to come back to the WMX World Championship and try to reach as much podiums as possible. For sure it would be a dream to become again World Champion, but after my injury I don’t put my goals too high. I was not ready for the first GP so I can’t say how the next GPs will be and how are my chances, but for sure I want to end at least in the top three of the World Championship. Furthermore I expect to ride the Enduro X at the X-Games: I know that it’s a hard challenge and something else than MX but I like to have new challenges and my goal is to reach a medal there” she ended.
Unfortunately Livia Lancelot will not join them, as the best ever-French woman – 2008 World Champion with Kawasaki – underwent surgery last week. “There was some troubles at the start of a French Women series, and when I put my foot on the ground I knew that something was going wrong in my knee” she commented from the hospital in Lyon. “The Anterior Cruciate ligament have been damaged, and I got successful surgery in Lyon. I know both the location and the doctors, as they already treated my other knee in 2007. One year later I claimed the World Title, so again I will come back stronger next season. I know that it will be long and tough to recover, but I’m motivated and want to be back for Le Touquet beach race in February” said the Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki rider.
The next Women’s World Championship rounds are: June 9th: Slovenia; June 16th: Italy; July 7th: Croatia; August 25th: Great Britain; September 1st: Czech Republic; September 8th: Slovak Republic.