Laier tangles with back markers in race marred by bad luck
After a superb start and the hole shot, Red Bull KTM's Steffi Laier's luck ran out in Portugal in the first of two motos of the women's world championship round two on Saturday.
"I had no problem with Livia passing me in the early stages because I just wanted to settle in behind her, pick out the lines, race my race and wait for my opportunity to re-take the lead," the talented young rider from Germany said after the race. "But I was riding tight on the inside and when I caught up to the back markers one of the slower riders braked in front of me and I couldn't avoid her."
Steffi crashed and was in the process of getting her bike restarted when an enthusiastic spectator rushed onto the course and attempted to help her. The incident resulted in a protest and she was disqualified from the first moto, although she will be able to complete in the second race on Sunday morning. Understandably upset over the incident, Steffi said it was difficult to cope with such a critical race situation because of the big gap in skills and time between the faster riders and the slower backmarkers.
Also riding for KTM this weekend in Portugal - and in the next GP in Spain - is American KTM-supported rider Sarah Whitmore, who finished in a creditable eighth place in her first experience racing on the European circuits.
Results Race One (Saturday)
1. Livia Lancelot, France, Kawasaki, 25:08.810
2. Larissa Papenmeier, Germany, Suzuki, 25:12.377
3. Ashley Fiolek, USA, Honda, 25:20.718
4. Maria Franke, Germany, Kawasaki, 25:30.473
5. Elin Mann, Sweden, KTM; 25:36.149
8. Sarah Whitmore, USA, KTM, 26:15.908
disqualified Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM