2008 WMA Motocross Championships – Steel City

 

WMA Motocross Championships

Steel City, PA

Round 6 of 6 – August 29th, 2008

 

Though championships in both the Lites class and the Motocross class have already been decided, there was still one title to be handed out: the WMA number one plate. Coming into Steel City, fan favorite, Ashley Fiolek, held a commanding 28-point lead over fellow Honda rider, Jessica Patterson. It was clear that Patterson would need some luck to come her way in order to defend her number one plate, however, Fiolek has been riding a consistent season, limiting her mistakes and capitalizing on Patterson’s.

Many were assuming that the 17-year-old Fiolek would play it safe and settle for second or third in the moto, however, that would not be the case as she and Patterson put forth one of the best battles of the season. In the end, AF67 would come out on top, taking the moto win and the championship. For all of the racing details and photos read on…

 

 

Moto 1

Things were close throughout the entire moto. Here, Patterson works her way around a hard charging Fiolek.

With a championship on the line, Honda pilot Ashley Fiolek did what she does best: holeshot. The number 67 Honda pilot took off with the early lead, however, she had to contend with a determined Jessica Patterson, who was looking to take the moto win and keep her championship hopes alive. Behind the two top leaders were Tatum Sik, Sherri Cruse, Sarah Whitmore, and Tarah Gieger. At the conclusion of lap one, Fiolek was still ahead of Patterson and just behind the two Honda riders, Cruse made her way around the Kawasaki of Sik to take charge of third place and Gieger moved her way passed Whitmore for fifth place. Meanwhile, back up front, JP made her move on AF67 for the lead; however, Fiolek was there to prove a point and quickly retaliated. With a quick pass, Fiolek was once again leading the pack. Behind the leaders, Mariana Balbi made her way into fifth place, bumping Sik and Whitmore out of the top five. Though Fiolek made her way around the defending WMA champ, Patterson was again in the process of mounting another charge; unfortunately for JP, AF67 was beginning to pick up the pace and started putting distance between herself and Patterson. While Fiolek was starting to pull away, TG68 was beginning to reel Cruse in, however, a big mistake cost her any chance of taking away the third spot from the Suzuki pilot. When the two-lap board came out, Patterson also picked up the pace and quickly reeled in Fiolek, riding right on Ashley’s rear wheel. However, Fiolek was riding a smart race and refused to let the pressure get the best of her. With only one lap left, JP was all over Ashley, looking to make a move, however it wasn’t meant to be when she hit the deck with a little over half a lap left, making the last half a lap for Fiolek fairly easy. Not only did AF67 take home the moto, but also the WMA number one plate. Ashley is the first rider to dethrone Patterson in five years.

Only a few corners after the photo above, AF67 made her move on Patterson for the lead.

“Jessica rode a great race and she was charging at the end of the moto,” says Ashley. “I’m bummed that she fell because we were having a really good battle.” With the championship now sealed, Fiolek is looking forward to tomorrow’s second moto saying, “I’m going to go for it tomorrow. Hopefully I can make it a 1-1 sweep!”

 

Moto 1 Results:

1. A. Fiolek (HON)

2. J. Patterson (HON)

3. S. Cruse (SUZ)

4. T Gieger (YAM)

5. M. Balbi (KAW)

 

MOTO 2

 

Ashley Fiolek took another holeshot in the second WMA moto of the weekend; however, Jessica Patterson quickly worked her way around Fiolek to take the lead. AF67 held tough for the first few laps, keeping JP honest and at one point showing her a wheel. Just behind Patterson and Fiolek were Sherri Cruse and Tarah Gieger. TG68 was able to find her way around the Suzuki of Cruse and started pushing towards the front of the pack. JP was able to put some time between herself and Fiolek; however, Gieger passed Ashley for the second place. While the newly crowned WMA champion rode a safe race, Gieger went after the Honda of Patterson. With one lap to go, TG68 was on JP’s rear wheel. Patterson made a mistake before the big uphill triple and was unable to triple, allowing Gieger to triple right passed her. With that mistake by JP, it handed the Yamaha pilot the moto win and AF67 the overall on the weekend.

 

Tarah Gieger was able to hunt down and pass Jessica Patterson on the last lap for the moto win.

1. Tarah Gieger (YAM)

2. Jessica Patterson (HON)

3. Ashley Fiolek (HON)

4. Sherri Cruse (SUZ)

5. Mariana Balbi (KAW)

 

Overall Results:

1. Ashley Fiolek 1-3

2. Jessica Patterson 2-2

3. Tarah Gieger 4-1

4. Sherri Cruse 3-4

5. Mariana Balbi 6-5

 

WMA Final Points Standings (After 6 of 6 rounds)

1. Ashley Fiolek 276

2. Jessica Patterson 247

3. Sarah Whitmore 200

4. Tarah Gieger 198

5. Sherri Cruse 198

6. Mariana Balbi 165

7. Elizabeth Bash 138

8. Tatum Sik 126

9. Ayla Cabus 115

10. Alisa Nix 105