Trailing by only 4 points and still a strong championship contender heading into the final round, 18 year old Meghan Rutledge from Picton, NSW put in her best efforts and rode her KX250F well to secure the podium finish in the World Championship.
After holding an early 2nd place in the first moto, Meghan crashed on the Loket track, a track she had never ridden before. The distance back to first was too great and she had to settle for 2nd place.
In Sunday's 2nd moto, Meghan rode to the lead on lap 5 but knowing that her rival and points leader, Chiara Fontanesi, only needed to finish in 3rd place or better to clinch the title, Meghan played it safe and settled for 2nd place in the moto and with it, 2nd place overall in the championship.
Meghan's two podium finishes in each of the motos at the final round means that the multiple Australian MX champion finished inside the top 3 in 10 out of the 12 races that made up the series. She also won 3 of the 6 rounds.
Meghan's outstanding results throughout the series with the Bud Racing Kawasaki Monster Energy Team combined with the efforts of Kawasaki Europe's Livia Lancelot (who won the final round) meant Kawasaki won the Manufacturers Title in the FIM World Women's Motocross Championship by an impressive 22 points.
Meghan Rutledge say's, “Of course I’m a little bit disappointed to miss the title by just a few points, but being second in the World Championship is awesome as it’s only my second year in the series and I will have many more opportunities to get this title. I will come back next year and for sure I will be stronger as I will have more experience; for example I never rode before this weekend on a track like this one in Loket! It was tough to get used to it but I'm not looking for excuses; I made the best I could and I’m still happy".
"Fontanesi and Livy were really fast this weekend, unfortunately I crashed in the first race and I couldn’t battle with Chiara for the moto win; in the second race today Livia was really fast, it would have been nice to win the race but I rode safe as I wanted to secure the final result in the series.”
"I'd really like to thank Bud Racing Kawasaki Monster Energy for the opportunity they've given me this year and my sponsors, Kawasaki Australia, Fox, Eve, Moss Institute and Easternwell Group."
Kawasaki Australia's Managing Director, Ken Hashiba, say's, "We are very proud of Meghan Rutledge's outstanding results on the world stage. She is a very determined rider who always does her best and works very hard. We are pleased that she achieves such good results on board Kawasaki."
WMXWorld Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 255 points; 2. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 250 p 3. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 232 p.; 4. Stephanie Laier (GER, SUZ), 212 p.; 5. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 182 p.; 6. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 172 p.; 7. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 151 p .;8. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 145 p. 9. Marianne Veenstra (NED, HUS), 127 p.; 10. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 115 p