DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson once again dominated the 2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com WMX field by taking both motos at Thunder Valley. Her reign up front was only briefly interrupted when Honda’s Ashley Fiolek secured both holeshots, but otherwise JP$ made her work look easy in Colorado’s thin mountain air. Fiolek had back-to-back second-place finishes and remains second in the standings, with Gieger taking her second podium finish of the season at Lakewood in third.
Fiolek claimed the lead in the first moto after landing one of her trademark holeshots along Thunder Valley’s uphill start. Trailing Fiolek was none other than JP$ with Scott USA/Thor Kawasaki’s Sara Price, Gieger, MotoUSA.com/Langston Motorsports Kawasaki’s Vicki Golden, Precision PowerSports’ Lindsey Palmer, Oakley/KTM’s Alexah Pearson and Fox Racing’s Jacqueline Strong all following. It was a bad moto for Scott USA’s Marissa Makelon, who had a horrible start outside the top-10 as Fiolek’s lead over Patterson became less than a second. On Lap 2 Patterson made the pass on Fiolek for the lead as Gieger fought her way past Price for the final podium spot.
Racing from there on out was mostly processional between Patterson and Fiolek. Meanwhile Golden also chased past Price for fourth as Patterson continued to extend her lead up front. Toward the back of the top-10 Fly Racing/Scott USA’s Elizabeth Bash advanced ahead of Vickery Motorsports’ Ashley Boham as Markelon made marginal improvement up to
Ashley Fiolek (#67) had more strong starts at Thunder Valley but couldn’t challenge Patterson for wins.
12th. But as usual the woman on the move was Patterson as she turned a two-second lead into an 11-second gap halfway into the contest.
Pearson and Strong then pushed their way around Palmer for sixth and seventh, respectively. Strong continued her forward momentum by passing Pearson shortly after. Excitement couldn’t be found up front in the final laps as Patterson claimed her fifth moto victory of the season more than 21 seconds ahead of Fiolek. MotoUSA-backed Kawasaki rider, Golden, fought her way to her first podium finish of the season in third, followed by Price and Gieger.
Following her second holeshot of the day, Fiolek was once again passed by Patterson in the early moments of the race. Gieger, Golden, Palmer, Price and Rockstart Suzuki/Troy Lee Designs’ Sayaka Kaneshiro all followed. Once again there was no stopping Patterson as she kept increasing her lead ahead of the field. After taking a podium in Moto 1, Golden couldn’t reproduce the result in the second race after making some mistakes and falling back to 15th. The gap between second and third stretched to more than 18 seconds in the final moments of the race as Patterson claimed win No. 2 of the day by a 16-second margin.
Despite being unable to overthrow Patterson at Thunder Valley Fiolek still leads the championship, though only by two points. The WMX series will return for the next round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross series at Red Bud.
2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com WMX Thunder Valley Results:
1. Jessica Patterson (Yamaha) 1-1
2. Ashley Fiolek (Honda) 2-2
3. Tarah Gieger (Honda) 5-3
4. Sara Price (Kawasaki) 4-4
5. Jacqueline Strong (KTM) 6-6
6. Lindsey Palmer (Honda) 8-7
7. Alexah Pearson (KTM) 7-10
8. Kasie Creson (Honda) 9-9
9. Marissa Markelon (Yamaha) 12-8
10. Vicki Golden (Kawasaki) 3-19
11. Elizabeth Bash (KTM) 10-11
12. Ashley Boham (Kawasaki) 13-12
13. Sayaka Kaneshiro (Suzuki) 28-5
14. Hailey Larson (Honda) 11-15
15. Kim Irmgartz (Kawasaki) 14-14
2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com WMX Championship Points:
1. Ashley Fiolek, 135
2. Jessica Patterson, 133
3. Tarah Gieger, 108
4. Sara Price, 79
5. Jacqueline Strong, 78
6. Kasie Creson, 72
7. Marissa Markelon, 69
8. Alexah Pearson, 67
9. Marianna Balbi, 66
10. Vicki Golden, 59