Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pennsylvania hosted Round 11 of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series on Saturday beneath bluebird skies and hot, humid conditions. In the WMX class, Ashley Fiolek did exactly what was required to protect her championship points lead, as she put in a safe and conservative second-place overall ride behind title threat Jessica Patterson.
In the Lites class, the story of the day under the Red Bull tent was that of Red Bull KTM’s championship hopeful, Frenchman and two-time MX2 World Motocross Champion Marvin Musquin. After suffering from an injury early in the series and since working hard to regain his speed and conditioning, Musquin put in an impressive third-place overall effort at Steel City (3-3 moto finishes) to score his first-ever podium in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship series.
Championship In Sight For Fiolek
Fiolek entered the weekend at Steel City with one thing, and one thing only, on her mind: protect her championship lead. With just four motos to go in the 2011 WMX series, Ashley rolled to the line for Steel City’s moto one with a solid 30-point lead and looked to put in a safe ride, steering clear of harm’s way en route to the checkers.
When the gates dropped, she grabbed the holeshot and moved her way into the early lead as she’s done in nearly every moto this year, but put up little fight as championship rival Jessica Patterson and Red Bull teammate Tarah Gieger pushed their way into first and second, respectively.
With plenty of padding in her points lead, Fiolek let the top two go and proceeded to put in a conservative ride for a safe and secure third-place finish.
In moto two, Fiolek once again let Patterson have her way with the lead and circulated in the third spot for just over three laps before getting by Gieger for second on lap four. Ashley’s 3-2 moto scores were good for second overall on the day, and she now has her sights set on the final two motos of the series next weekend at Pala Raceway in Southern California.
“I’m very thankful to head out to California with a comfortable points lead,” Ashley commented after the race. “Of course, it was tough not battling for the win today, but the championship is my priority, not individual moto wins. I can’t wait for Pala!”
Stay tuned as Fiolek goes for her third Women’s Motocross Championship in just four years next weekend at the series finale.
Musquin Lites It Up
After a somewhat rocky start to his professional motocross career in America, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin finally demonstrated at Steel City why he is a two-time MX2 World Champion.
In moto one, Musquin positioned himself inside the top-ten early on before methodically picking off one rider at a time on his way toward the front. Musquin got by last week’s race winner Tyla Rattray for fourth midway through the moto and then picked off rookie sensation Justin Bogle with four laps to go.
With his sights set on Dean Wilson and Eli Tomac out front, Marvin ran out of time in the moto but crossed the line comfortably in the third spot -- his best finish to date in AMA Pro Motocross.
In what would prove to be a carbon copy result of moto one, Musquin once again came out swinging in the second Lites moto of the day, challenging Wilson and Tomac all the way to the finish. Musquin’s 3-3 moto performances resulted in his first podium finish in the States, and he now looks to wrap up the series next weekend at Pala with a race win aboard his factory Red Bull KTM.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross series coming your way next weekend from Southern California!
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