Following her successful March campaign through Texas where she captured the Lake Whitney Spring Classic and 31st GNC Final at Oak Hill MX Park 99cc and up Amateur Women’s Championships, 16-year-old motocrosser Ashley Fiolek has announced her plans to contest the 2007 AMA Motocross Lites National Championship, which kicks off at Sacramento, California, on May 19-20.
“My lifelong goal has not been so much to win women’s championships,” said the profoundly deaf motocrosser from St. Augustine, Florida. “But rather, to compete as a professional with the men at the highest level of the sport.”
Since making the jump to full-sized machines in late 2006, Fiolek’s progress has been rapid. “Every time I ride my Honda CR125R, I feel more at home and gain some speed,” said Fiolek. “I have been working with Ronnie Tichenor MX Schools for a few months now, and I am learning so much.”
Tichenor, a former Western Region 125cc Supercross Champion, concurs. “Ashley’s progress has been amazing,” he said. “Her level of aggression on the track is not what you would expect from a cute young girl, but rather from a hard-charging young man. After seeing her catch and pass the entire Women’s Pro class from the second gate at Whitney, I knew that she would be wasting her time in the female division.”
Prior to her performances in Texas, Fiolek and her family had planned to contest the World Mini GP and the Loretta Lynn’s AMA Amateur National Championships as an amateur, before making the jump to the Women’s Motocross Association Pro Class at the series finale at Steel City in September.
“I have been very excited about that and more,” said Fiolek. “But I trust Ronnie’s advice and if he thinks I can do it, then so do I.”
With her former boyfriend and best friend Trey Canard already signed up with the powerful Sobe No Fear/Samsung/Honda team, and Fiolek being a long-standing Factory Connection rider, the seeds were already planted for a great relationship with the California-based race team.
Earlier this week, Fiolek traveled to Oklahoma, where she tested alongside Canard; spinning her first-ever laps on a 250cc four-stroke. “The bike was freaking awesome!” said Fiolek. “I could not believe how fast and powerful it was. It was very easy to go fast on.”
Team co-owner Rick Zeilfelder was duly impressed. “I have long believed in Ashley’s talents on a bike, but even I was caught off guard with the speed she’s shown since getting on full-sized bikes. We’re proud to support her in what will undoubtedly be a history making race season.”
Fiolek will pit under the Sobe No Fear/Samsung/Honda team semi and race a bike that is for all intent and purposes the same as those of Josh Grant, Trey Canard, and Jake Weimer (albeit set up smaller for her diminutive stature). Thanks to several letters of recommendation from industry standouts, Fiolek was granted an AMA Pro Racing license by Steve Whitelock after a lengthy gathering of the AMA Congress.
“It is unprecedented, that’s for certain,” said Whitelock. “However, after reviewing tapes of Ashley Fiolek in action, I am a firm believer that she does deserve to be out there with the men.”
Look for Fiolek to campaign a #167 Honda CRF250R, wearing Alpinestars MX Gear and an Arai Helmet.
For more information, check www.ashleyfiolek.com.