Race Report: WMA Thunder Valley
WMA National Championship Series – Round 4

Lakewood, Colorado, and the beautiful Thunder Valley MX facility welcomed round number 4 of the WMA National Championship Series on Saturday. Heading into the event, Honda of Houston’s Jessica Patterson had been absolutely dominant, taking all six moto wins—and thus all three overalls—so far in the series. The points scenario changed in a big way to start moto one at Thunder Valley, however, as a pileup in the first turn led to a DNF by Patterson. Though the tough Honda rider rebounded to race and finish well in moto number two, the damage had been done, and the Lakewood fans witnessed a first time WMA moto winner, a first time none-JP overall winner in ’07, and a resulting tie in the championship points chase when the day was all said and done. Read on to find out how it all shook down in Colorado!


The moto one holeshot went to the number 75 of Vanessa Florentino aboard her CRF250R. Behind Florentino as the field entered turn number one, Championship points leader Jessica Patterson tangled with series heavyweights Sarah Whitmore and Tanya Satchwell, causing all three riders to go down. In the incident, Patterson’s right hand got caught up in Whitmore’s rear wheel, and she was unable to remount and continue on in the moto. Meanwhile, up front, Colorado native Ashley Boham took the early lead in front of the Yamahas of Alisa Nix and Tarah Gieger. Though looking strong early on, Boham made a mistake midway through lap number two, throwing her Honda away as she entered a rough right hander. The crash allowed Nix to take over the lead, and she slowly and smoothly crept away from Gieger who continued to control the second spot. Nix went on to win the moto—her first ever victory on the WMA circuit. Behind her, Gieger cruised in for a comfortable second, and Mariana Balbi gathered herself after also being slowed down by the first turn pileup to finish in an impressive third.


  1. Alisa Nix
  2. Tarah Gieger
  3. Mariana Balbi
  4. Elizabeth Bash
  5. Tania Satchwell
  6. Taylor Miller
  7. Vanessa Florentino
  8. Lindsey Jelitto
  9. Sarah Whitmore
  10. April Zastrow


The big question heading into moto number two was whether or not Jessica Patterson would be able to race after suffering a cut on the tip of her right hand middle finger in moto one’s crash. When the field finally gathered in the staging area, Patterson’s number one Honda was present, but the state of her condition was unknown. When the gate dropped, it was Sherri Cruse on her YZ250F who took the holeshot, with Tarah Gieger and Alisa Nix close in tow. Gieger and Nix got by Cruse early on lap number one, and the two immediately began checking out. Patterson, meanwhile, suffered from a mediocre start, but it was obviously that the injured hand wasn’t bothering her too much, as she quickly and steadily began moving her way toward the front.

Up front, Nix kept Gieger honest throughout the first quarter of the race, but while attempting to apply some pressure while in the back section of the track, she went down hard, never to remount. Gieger continued on, riding smooth and controlled to close out the moto, and her 2-1 moto scores were good for her first overall victory of the season. Behind her, Patterson worked her way into the second spot, salvaging valuable championship points in an otherwise disappointing day.

When all was said and done, Gieger and Patterson left Thunder Valley tied for the championship points lead. So with just two more events to go in the series (Washougal and Steel City), the WMA National Championship is sure to go down to the wire.


  1. Tarah Gieger
  2. Jessica Patterson
  3. Tanya Satchwell
  4. Elizabeth Bash
  5. Mariana Balbi
  6. Ashley Boham
  7. Vanessa Florentino
  8. Alyssa Weaver
  9. Meika Cornelious
  10. Sarah Whitmore


  1. Tarah Gieger Vero Beach, FL 2-1
  2. Tania Satchwell Rancho Cucamonga, CA 5-3
  3. Elizabeth Bash Riverside, CA 4-4
  4. Mariana Balbi Riverside, CA 3-5
  5. Vanessa Florentino Edgewood, NM 7-7
  6. Ashley Boham Loveland, CO 11-6
  7. Taylor Miller Alabaster, AL 6-11
  8. Sarah Whitmore Cheboygan, MI 9-10
  9. Alyssa K. Weaver Falcon, CO 12-8
  10. Lindsey Jelitto Falcon, CO 8-13
  11. Alisa Nix Ukiah, CA 1-DNF
  12. Jessica Patterson Tallahassee, FL DNF-2
  13. April Zastrow Kuna, ID 10-12
  14. Meika Cornelius Murrieta, CA 15-9
  15. Michele Collins Lompoc, CA 14-15
  16. Jill Carter Arlington, WA 13-16
  17. Stephanie L. Cancilla San Jose, CA DNF-14
  18. Sherri Cruse Bakersfield, CA 16-DNF
  19. Michelle Skender Reno, NV DNF-DNS
  20. Tatum Sik Temecula, CA DNS-DNS


1. Jessica Patterson (172 points)
1. Tarah Gieger (172)
3. Elizabeth Bash (134)
4. Alisa Nix (131)
4. Mariana Balbi (131)
6. Tania Satchwell (123)
7. Sarah Whitmore (107)
8. Vanessa Florentino (97)
9. Taylor Miller (61)
9. Ashley Boham (61)