Ashley Fiolek took a victory in Moto 1 but could not duplicate the result in the second heat against Jessica Patterson.
Under sunny skies Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ashley Fiolek led the field of WMX contenders into the first sweeping turn at Steel City Raceway in Demont, Pennsylvania. Right behind Fiolek was DNA Shred Stix Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson followed by Tarah Geiger, Mariana Balbi and Alexah Pearson. Suffering misfortune early on was Patterson, who went down in the first corner and fell to dead last. While fans didn’t get to see the battle between Fiolek and Patterson they’d wished for, they did get a chance to witness Patterson’s remarkable skill aboard her Yamaha YZ 250F as she led a relentless march through the WMX field.
Patterson flew by riders as she moved back up to fifth-place by the halfway-point of the contest. Up front, Fiolek continued riding her own race ahead of Balbi as Patterson confronted Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Sara Price in fourth place. After briefly assessing Price, Patterson advanced ahead of the Kawasaki rider and immediately set her sights on Geiger in third. While Patterson made it rather easily around Geiger, Balbi proved much less willing to sacrifice her second-place position. In the final laps of the race Balbi demonstrated her remarkable riding ability by putting up a strong defense against Patterson. After some tense laps, however, Patterson passed Balbi for second. Ultimately Patterson’s crash at the start of the race created too large of a gap for her to overcome, and Fiolek took the win in Moto 1 by more than nine seconds. Balbi held on to take the checkers in third, followed by Geiger and Price.
The second MotoUSA.com contest saw Patterson exact revenge on Fiolek by snaring the holeshot and running away early with the lead. Fired up and creating an immense gap in the early laps, Patterson was riding on edge as Fiolek began picking up
her pace in order to stay with the championship leader. After finishing a respectable fourth in Moto 1, Geiger got off to a miserable start aboard her Honda CRF250R and was running in 11th. As the race wore on Patterson could not keep up her pace and Fiolek closed the gap down to just over a second on the Yamaha rider. Behind Fiolek, Pearson, Price, Warthog Racing’s Tatum Sik and Vicki Golden were running third through sixth respectively when Balbi moved into sixth-place ahead of Golden.
With 22 points separating Fiolek from Patterson in the lead of the championship, Fiolek made an extremely aggressive block pass on Patterson for the lead. The two went side by side, dueling for the lead. Patterson reclaimed first-place in the final laps as Balbi continued making progress through the field in fourth ahead of Price. Near the end of the contest Geiger had made a tremendous improvement to her 11th place start and passed Sik for seventh. On the final lap Fiolek made one last charge for the lead, practically colliding with Patterson. The attempt was unsuccessful and Patterson took the overall by winning the second moto. By winning her sixth round of the season Patterson has maintained her lead in the championship over Fiolek. The two now head to Pala Raceway for the final round of the WMX Championship.
2010 WMX Steel City Results:
1. Jessica Patterson (Yamaha) 2-1
2. Ashley Fiolek (Honda) 1-2
3. Mariana Balbi (Yamaha) 3-4
Honda’s Tarah Geiger took sixth overall in Pennsylvania and is currently third in the WMX Championship behind Fiolek.
4. Alexah Pearson (Yamaha) 7-3
5. Sara Price (Kawasaki) 5-5
6. Tarah Geiger (Honda) 4-7
7. Vicki Golden (Yamaha) 9-6
8. Sherri Cruse (Suzuki) 6-9
9. Jacqueline Strong (Yamaha) 8-10
10. Sarah Whitmore (KTM) 11-11
11. Tatum Sik (Yamaha) 17-8
12. Lindsey Palmer (Honda) 13-12
13. Erica Cook (Yamaha) 12-13
14. Elizabeth Bash (Honda) 10-17
15. Penni Cyrus (Kawasaki) 14-14
2010 WMX Championship Points:
1. Jessica Patterson, 335
2. Ashley Fiolek, 313
3. Tarah Geiger, 261
4. Vicki Golden, 217
5. Sara Price, 212