After a hard-fought championship battle that has spanned the length of four full months, the ladies of the Women’s Motocross Championship (WMX) series rolled into Pala Raceway in San Diego, California on Saturday to lay it all on the line for the final time in 2010.
A mere 22-point deficit separated Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ashley Fiolek from clinching her third WMX title, but the gap proved to be insurmountable by day’s end, despite her impressive overall victory at the series finale.
Fiolek nailed the holeshot to begin moto number one, but championship rival Jessica Patterson snuck by to take over the lead midway through the opening lap.
With her sights set on regaining the top spot, Ashley pushed just a bit too hard and laid down her factory Honda just a few turns later. Dropping to third, Fiolek quickly remounted and made the pass to grab second-place back before the end of lap two.
Giving it everything she had in an attempt to reel Patterson back in, the gap to the lead was just too big, and Fiolek ended the moto—and thus the championship—in second overall.
The three points gained over Fiolek in moto one were all Patterson needed to clinch the championship, but that didn’t stop Ashley from capping off the series in style with an incredible moto two victory. After capturing her second holeshot of the day, Ashley motored on for the wire-to-wire moto win over her rival, serving notice that she’ll be back in the hunt when the WMX series returns to action in 2011.
“I’m very happy for JP,” Ashley commented on the podium. “She rode a great series and deserves the title. I’m really happy to finish the series with a win, though - it still feels great!”
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1. Jessica Patterson
2. Ashley Fiolek
3. Tarah Gieger