Fiolek (#67) snared the overall win at Freestone with 1-2 moto scores despite another tense stand-off with Patterson.
Arguably the most difficult round in the 2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com WMX Championship, Freestone was no easy task for the women who braved oppressive heat and a technical track layout. In the end, however, Honda’s Ashley Fiolek walked away with her first victory of the season ahead of TLD Honda’s Tarah Gieger and O`Neal Yamaha’s Mariana Balbi. Reigning WMX champ Jessica Patterson landed a win in the final moto, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the mistake she made in the first race of the day. Noticeably absent was Hangtown‘s third-place finisher, Stephanie Laier.
Fiolek got off to a good start in the first heat and led during the start of the moto. Leading Patterson by more than six seconds, Fiolek had a sizeable lead with Patterson, Balbi, Gieger, Motorcyle-USA.com/Langston Motorsports Kawasaki’s Vicki Golden, Sayaka Kaneshiro and Sara Price all following. Balbi was more than 16 seconds behind the leader as the two frontrunners began to distance themselves from the rest of the field. Price improved her position up to fifth ahead of Kaneshiro and Golden after three laps, while Sarah Whitmore began to climb from 14th after a bad start. Despite having some time to make up on the leader, Patterson quickly began to reel in Fiolek. Meanwhile Golden made a mistake, dropping outside the top-10.
With six laps completed Patterson was within a second of Fiolek. The moto then took a sharp turn for the two frontrunners when both Fiolek and Patterson crashed. Fiolek quickly remounted and resumed her lead but JP$ had trouble restarting, and she lost significant time on the Honda rider. With just a five-second lead over Balbi, Fiolek grabbed the
After crashing near the end of the first moto, Patterson was unable to get her bike started and lost points on Fiolek.
victory in Moto 1 with Gieger rounding out the podium. Patterson eventually regrouped and finished the race in 13th.
In the second race Fiolek was out front early again with Patterson right behind and eager to make a comeback. Gieger, Price, Balbi, Tatum Sik, Golden and Fox Racing’s Marissa Markelon were in the top running in the first few laps, while Whitmore once again found herself outside the top-10. Patterson never let up on Fiolek, and by Lap 2 she had taken the lead.
Patterson immediately set about separating herself from Fiolek. Meanwhile, Price hit the dirt and dropped to the back, but she continued to put up a fight by climbing positions for the remainder of the race. Up front Patterson was putting in some consistently fast laps, and soon she had a five-second lead ahead of Fiolek. Back in eighth Pearson advanced up to seventh after passing Markelon, and Price continued to make up ground in 11th. When the white flag came out Patterson was leading the field by more than 17 seconds, and she went on to capture the win ahead of Fiolek and Gieger.
Fiolek currently leads the series ahead of Patterson after two rounds of racing, with Gieger running third in the overall championship picture.
2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com WMX Freestone Results:
1. Ashley Fiolek (Honda) 1-2
2. Tarah Geiger (Honda) 3-3
3. Mariana Balbi (Yamaha) 2-4
4. Jessica Patterson (Yamaha) 13-1
5. Tatum Sik (Yamaha) 6-5
6. Marissa Markelon (Yamaha) 5-8
7. Sara Price (Kawasaki) 4-11
8. Alexah Pearson (KTM) 8-7
9. Kasi Creson (Honda) 9-9
10. Lindsey Palmer (Honda) 10-10
11. Vicki Golden (Kawasaki) 15-6
12. Jacqueline Strong (KTM) 12-12
13. Sarah Whitmore (KTM) 11-15
14. Hailey Larson (Honda) 14-13
15. Sayaka Kaneshiro (Suzuki) 7-28
2011 WMX Championship Points:
1. Ashley Fiolek, 91
2. Jessica Patterson, 83
3. Tarah Geiger, 72
4. Mariana Balbi, 66
5. Tatum Sik, 59
6. Jacqueline Strong, 48
7. Kasie Creson, 48
8. Marissa Markelon, 47
9. Sara Price, 43
10. Alexah Pearson, 42