Ashley Fiolek went 2-3 at Lake Elsinore, but that was enough to secure the 2012 Women’s motocross title.
Yamaha rider Chiara Fontanesi came halfway across the world and dominated Women’s Moto 1 at the Red Bull Lake Elsinore National. The Italian rider proved to be a formidable opponent to the front runners, getting past American Honda’s Ashley Fiolek mid-moto and holding the front to the end. MotoConcepts’ Mariana Balbi rounded out the podium.
After gaining the lead and building a comfortable gap, Fontanesi just barely crossed the finish line before raising a fist to celebrate. She didn’t run past the line, but rather stopped at the top of the jump and began to roll backward. Officials confirmed she had indeed crossed the line before falling back.
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jessica Patterson managed to take fourth ahead of Lucas Oil’s Tarah Gieger. Fox Racing’s Jacqueline Strong earned sixth followed by Munn Racing’s Sara Pettersson in seventh. Trey Canard Racing’s Taylor Higgins took eighth with KTM’s Alexah Pearson and Mach 1 Motorsports’ Hailey Larson finishing in ninth and 10th respectively.
Fontanesi dominated Moto 2 as well, building a gap of over 17 seconds on Balbi, who moved into second in the final lap. Fiolek fell to third after Balbi’s push, but the finish was enough to make her the 2012 Women’s Motocross champion.
Jessica Patterson had a difficult time, charging for the lead early on and falling back to fourth. Then in the final laps she pushed to get past Balbi but had to pull out of the race before the checkers. Her misfortune secured Fiolek’s spot at the top.
Taylor Higgins took fourth, followed by Gieger in fifth and Strong in sixth.
Fiolek clinched the title 15 points ahead of Gieger and Patterson dropped to third in the final count. Balbi held steady in fourth and Strong jumped from sixth to finish off the season in fifth.
Lake Elsinore Women’s Motocross Results 2012:
1. Chiara Fontanesi (Yamaha) 1-1
2. Mariana Balbi (Honda) 3-2
3. Ashley Fiolek (Honda) 2-3
4. Tarah Gieger (Honda) 5-5
5. Taylor Higgins (Honda) 8-4
6. Jacqueline Strong (KTM) 6-6
7. Alexah Pearson (KTM) 9-7
8. Lindsey Palmer (Kawasaki) 12-8
9. Sade Allender (Honda) 11-9
10. Hailey Larson (Honda) 10-10
11. Jessica Patterson (Suzuki) 4-28
12. Sarah Troxel (Kawasaki) 13-12
13. Brianna DeDray (KTM) 15-11
14. Sara Pettersson (KTM) 7-27
15. Ashley Brown (Kawasaki) 14-15
Women’s Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ashley Fiolek, 317
2. Tarah Gieger, 302
3. Jessica Patterson, 298
4. Mariana Balbi, 269
5. Jacqueline Strong, 236
6. Sara Pettersson, 223
7. Alexah Pearson, 175
8. Kasie Creson, 174
9. Sade Allender, 170
10. Amanda Brown, 142