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2010 MotoUSA.com WMX Pala Preview

Friday, September 10, 2010
Ashley Fiolek took a victory in Moto 1 but could not duplicate the result in the second heat against Jessica Patterson.
Honda's Ashley Fiolek remains 22 points behind Jessica Patterson heading into the final round at Pala Raceway.
We’re counting the hours to the final round of the WMX which will be held at Pala Raceway in California. The Pala venue was a surprise announcement halfway through the season when MX Sports released information stating Glen Helen was not going to be part of the 2010 Motocross Series. There was wide speculation whether Pala could be prepared in time to host a national event. Now that we’re just hours away, racers and fans are excited to visit the new facility.

Last weekend at Steel City, provisional points leader DNA Shred Stix Star Racing Yamaha rider, Jessica Patterson once again claimed the overall win for the weekend with 2-1 moto scores. Coming into the last round of the series, Patterson has a 22 point lead over factory Honda rider Ashley Fiolek. Patterson proved that she’s got the determination to win the WMX championship after once again crashing in the first lap putting her in dead last. Throughout the moto Patterson fought to get back into the lead position, finally ending up placing second. Patterson’s second moto was a nail-biting fight to the death with Fiolek which resulted in several close contacts. Finally on the last lap Fiolek made one last desperate charge for the lead, however the maneuver resulted in Patterson taking first and Fiolek on the ground just a few feet from the finish line. Patterson’s addition to the DNA Shred Stix team this year finally leveled the playing field and allowed her to compete against the factory-backed Fiolek. The result was a confident rider determined to reclaim her title. 

The Honda pilot has put up a good fight throughout the season. She’s rode consistent throughout the various rounds usually placing within the top three. At Steel City, Fiolek’s competitive nature turned aggressive as evident by her three near collisions with Patterson. For the last two rounds no point gains have
Jessica Patterson lost out on the double victory at Steel City after her crash in Moto 1.
Yamaha's Jessica Patterson fought back in Moto 2 at Steel City to take the overall ahead of Fiolek. She has six overall wins this season and currently leads the series. 
been made between first and second as Patterson and Fiolek exchange moto wins. The defending champion has worked extremely hard, but her efforts just might not be enough to secure the title for a third consecutive year.

Lucas Oil Troy Lee Honda’s Tarah Geiger had a rough weekend at Steel City finishing 4-7 for sixth overall. However, her performance this season has been fairly constant. Geiger is currently 52 points behind the second seat, but she’s 44 points ahead of Vicki Golden who’s currently fourth in points.

MotoConcepts Yamaha's Mariana Balbi had a great weekend at the last round. She raced the majority of Moto 1 in second putting up a good fight against a hard-charging JP. She ended the weekend third overall after a 3-4 tally. Balbi earned six points more than Kawasaki-backed Sara Price which put Balbi just five points behind coming into the final round. Balbi will find some tough competition between Golden, Price and Sarah Whitmore. All three riders she routinely battled with throughout the season.

Pala Raceway sits in a small valley where temperatures can be extreme. This year, thankfully, California is experiencing a very mild summer and temperatures are expected to be around 75 degrees over partly cloudy skies. Stay tuned for the Pala race recap and for coverage of the 2010 awards banquet being held at the Pala Casino on Sunday.
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