Natalie Kane makes flying start to world title bid in Qatar

Natalie Kane
Natalie Kane

HM Plant KTM UK’s Natalie Kane made a solid start to the 2014 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship at the weekend, twice finishing on the rostrum at the Grand Prix of Qatar.

The Loughbrickland girl, who claimed her maiden Grand Prix victory in 2013, recovered from a lacklustre start in the opening race under the floodlit Qatari circuit to battle her way through to second position.

In the second race, the 22-year-old made a stronger start as she challenged at the front, however a rear brake issue hindered her progress and Kane rode a steady race to finish third behind Meghan Rutledge and Livia Lancelot.

The brace of podium results were enough to secure second position overall and the Northern Ireland woman is now looking ahead to the second championship round in Italy on April 13.

“It’s been a good way to start the series and I can certainly go home happy,” she said. “In the first race it took me a while to settle in, and because I haven’t raced in the off-season I had to find my rhythm and get used to riding a Grand Prix track again this weekend.

“It worked out well though and I rode sensibly around what was quite a tough track for second place.

In the second race I had a problem with the rear brake after the third lap, and although it’s not an excuse, it did mean I couldn’t get the bike stopped into the turns and over the jumps,” she added.

“It’s really good to come away with a podium at the first round and be healthy, apart from a little strain in one of my legs - I felt good out there.”