Nat Kane maiden GP win-Emphatic Grand Prix Win For NI Motocross Star.
August 29, 2013 by Tony Gregory
Northern Ireland’s Natalie Kane last weekend took an emphatic maiden GP win by going 2-1 across the two motos for the overall Grand Prix win at round four of the Women’s World Championship in Matterley Basin, Great Britain. 21-year-old Kane who rides for HM Plant KTM UK hails from Loughbrickland and treated the Matterley Basin GP as her home round.
Kane rode well over the first few days of practice, although bad luck in pre-qualifying and qualifying thwarted the KTM racer’s progress and concluded the timed stint in second position behind reining World Champion Chiara Fontanesi. Improvements were made in set-up for the opening moto and Kane put the earlier issues behind her to take the holeshot. Although Kane struggled to find her rhythm in the early part of the moto, switching places with winner Fontanesi a number
of times around the 1750m circuit before settling into second position and holding off third placed Megan Rutledge to the chequered flag.
Kane went into the second moto determined to show her best and certainly delivered. From the middle of the gate another superb holeshot aboard her KTM 250 SX-F saw Kane take to the front of the field, but this time she worked hard in the opening laps to gain a comfortable lead over the battling Fontanesi and Rutledge.
The lead stretched to over six seconds, although once Fontanesi finally got the better of Rutledge, Kane worked hard to maintain her advantage and in the closing stages of the race Fontanesi faded and never was able to threaten Kane’s perfect riding. Smart riding in the final part of the race gave Kane the win and her first ever overall GP, which was extra special with it being so close to home.
An emotional Kane dedicated the win to her life-long supporters, who are sadly no-longer with us, her Granny and Granny E and commented “I got a holeshot in the first race but I was a bit nervous, got pumped up and made a lot of mistakes. I found my rhythm halfway through, but then it was too late to catch Chiara. I knew I needed to relax more and try to ride the track in a smooth way with good lines. I got the holeshot again, then went for it in the first few laps to get a nice gap. I tried to control the gap from the front, but the last lap was definitely the longest I’ve ever done. I couldn’t believe it. Words can’t describe how happy I am, and especially with it being here in Britain and with the support I have here. All of my family and friends are here, so it was great to be able to celebrate with them. It’s been a long time coming, because I know I can win just as much as anyone out there can, but it’s a lot harder on the track to stay focussed when you are out front. It’s given me a lot of confidence, so I hope I can take that to the final two rounds. I want to thank all of my sponsors, family, friends, and everyone who has been behind me. I particularly want to thank the Dunlop family, as I have practically been living there and they have done so much for me.”
With only 2 rounds of the championship left to run in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Kane’s goal for the rest of the season is to concentrate on maintaining her second place in the series.