Bittersweet Weekend for Kane at Season Finale.
September 13, 2013 by Tony Gregory
Northern Ireland’s Motocross star Natalie Kane endured a bittersweet weekend at the final of the Women’s World Championship races at the weekend in Slovakia. Kane was unable to line-up for the opening moto, which cost her an almost certain second place in the championship, although she went on to dominate the final race of the year.
Kane had been fast throughout the practice sessions on Saturday and the 21-year-old was feeling confident as testing the week previously had improved her feeling with the KTM 250 SX-F. Kane opted out of doing lots of laps as she hurt her chest after landing hard over a jump and a small crash which left her feeling a little sore. Regardless of this Kane was fastest in practice, pre-qualifying and won the qualifying race.
Prior to Sunday morning the track had been heavily watered and at the end of the session Kane got cross-rutted in the slippery conditions over the finish-line jump, which turned her quickly in the air and she jumped off, knowing she’d be unable to save it. The KTM racer was lucky to walk away winded and with no further injury the paramedic on the scene agreed she was medically fit to continue.
Unfortunately for Kane the FIM doctors insisted she went to hospital, despite her being adamant that she was uninjured and they promised she would be back for race one. This was not the case and Kane was left devastated, as she had lost her almost certain second place in the championship.
Kane went out in the final moto with a determined attitude and dominated proceedings and lead from the first lap with a steady gap all race. Although the KTM racer was happy to win, she was incredibly disappointed in the outcome of the day, which was out of her control and left Kane fourth in the final championship standings
Kane said ” What can I say,I am absolutely gutted to have lost second in the championship. I was fast throughout all of Saturday, as we’ve made some steps with the bike last week and my confidence is good. There was also the possibility of the championship but only if something went wrong for Chiara and I knew I had to do my best.
On the Sunday the track had really been over-watered in my opinion and it was very slippery for warm-up. I just did a few laps and I got a little sideways on one of the take-offs but I knew I couldn’t save it so I let go and got myself away from the bike. Sure I was a bit winded but I was fine although the bike took a beating. I ran off the track and the paramedics also said they were happy I could continue.
After the session the FIM doctor caught up with me and was adamant he wouldn’t let me ride without an X-ray, so he sent me to hospital even though I felt it wasn’t necessary. He promised I wouldn’t miss the first race but they didn’t get me back in time and I missed the first race. The main thing I don’t understand is that the doctor didn’t check the certificate of medical fitness when I came back from the hospital and they just let me go to the gate for race two.
The only thing I could do was go out to win. I can’t tell everyone how upset I am by this, as I have worked so hard for the championship result and this is not how I envisaged ending the season. On a positive side I’ve been winning motos and I’ve made another step forward in the second part of the year, so I know I am capable now but the focus has to be on getting sorted for next year. I’d like to say congratulations to Chiara and also a big thanks to everyone who has helped me this season; my sponsors, KTM, my family, my friends and my supporters.”