Germany’s Steffi Laier the only woman full factory rider in the Red Bull KTM team on Sunday completed the sweep of world championship titles for the Austrian offroad market leader when she sealed her second consecutive WMX world title at Fermo, Italy.
Steffi settled the title question already on Saturday after the first moto, which she won by more than 11 seconds. This gave her 299 championship points and a 46-point advantage over second placed Livia Lancelot, also riding KTM. Her title gave KTM a clean sweep of the World Championship titles for riders and manufacturers.
Lancelot should finish second overall on her first year riding a KTM. The French rider was the winner of the first ever world title in 2008 but she had to sit out much of the 2009 season after a serious shoulder injury. As the 2010 calendar progressed, it was clear that she was going to be Steffi’s biggest rival but her fourth place in the first moto in Fermo put her out of contention for the title. The women split their motos, racing once on Saturday and once on Sunday.
A full set of titles for KTM
During the last two rounds Steffi’s factory teammates Tony Cairoli and Marvin Musquin have won both the MX1 and MX2 world titles and KTM has wrapped up all three awards in the Manufacturer’s titles to give the Orange brand complete domination of the competition in 2010.
Tower of strength
Laier, who won her first world title as a KTM-supported rider last season has been a tower of strength since the opening rounds of the 2010 competition, this year extended to seven rounds as the women’s competition gains in stature and importance. Laier, 25, who first climbed on a bike at the age of four, only started racing in 1990 but has had a stellar career at regional national and international level, including an impressive list of titles in the women’s competition in the USA. She was second to her Lancelot when the women’s world title first commenced in 2008 after suffering injuries but came out hard and strong in 2009 and won the award. Her performance in the 2010 season, when she became a full factory rider for the Red Bull KTM Factory Team under the leadership of 10-times world champion Stefan Everts has been outstanding. Steffi won the first four GPs, followed by a fourth and third place in Germany and the Czech Republic before taking overall victory in t he first moto at Fermo on Saturday.
Always among the best
Of the 14 individual motos, Steffi won seven up until she secured the title (with one to go on Sunday). She was second across the line on four occasions and third once. The only time she did not finish in the top three across the line was in Germany, where after two crashes in training she rode with a slight concussion. She managed to snap the holeshot on in the second moto but then cross-rutted and was thrown from her bike. After being struck on the helmet by three approaching riders she then made an excellent recovery and still finished fifth, a testament to her riding skill and will to win.
Her performance on the track has earned her the respect of fellow competitors and her factory teammates and admiration from the international KTM Racing fan community. The entire orange family congratulates Steffi on winning her second WMX World Championship title and hanging on to the coveted red plate for the entire season! Steffi Laier, official KTM hero!
Steffi Laier’s milestones to the 2010 WMX World Championship title
GP Bulgaria, (25-25) 1st
GP Portugal, (20-25) 1st
GP Catalunya (25-25 1st
GP of France (25-22) 1st
GP of Germany (22-16) 4th
GP of Czech Republic (22-22) 3rd
GP of Italy (Fermo) secures the title after the first moto on Saturday