Ding Ding Round 3 – British Womens Motocross Championships Round 3 – Race Report and Results
Report by Howard Marriott – Images courtesy of Howard Marriott & Mike Wood
Although series leader Chelsea Gowland was missing and still recovering from a broken ankle sustained on the very same circuit just a month earlier, there was a welcome new face for this weekend’s entry. Newcomer to the championship, Nadiya Jones, was keen to make her mark following a great first year in the FIM European Championship which saw her finish a superb 3rd place in the 125cc category. So with Chelsea Gowland out for the season, who would take the win and move into pole position to earn the £1,000 overall Championship winning top prize?
The meeting was split with two races on Saturday and two on Sunday and morning qualification for gate picks on each day. Heavy rain overnight Friday, made for difficult conditions in the loamy woodchip which layers the Lower Drayton circuit but Jones made it look easy, setting her stall out early and posting the fastest qualification time. Beth Farmer was next best, 2.7 seconds behind with Catherine King 3rd, Scot Ciara Roberston 4th and Eleanor Calby in 5th.
Although it was Catherine King who grabbed the BelRay hole-shot, Nadiya Jones was quickly in control as Beth Farmer was further back having to fight her way through to the front passing the ever improving Charlotte Hall and Millie King in the process. Farmer eventually made her way through to 2nd and started to close on Jones, by lap 4, Farmer was on Jones tail but made a mistake dropping her bike just as it was getting close. She managed to get her KTM started quickly and get going again but was too far back to put in another challenge, finishing in 2nd place. The mid pack produced some great racing with Catherine King taking 3rd place from sister Millie, behind them the hard charging Leonni Tighe came out the better of the battle with Charlotte Hall. Next best was Ciara Robertson from Georgia Ithell, Vicky Marriott and young Eleanor Calby in 10th place.
Race two promised to be another exciting battle now that the Jones effect was clearly making an impact. With more determination Jones grabbed the BelRay Hole-shot and immediately pulled out an impressive lead but Farmer steadily started to real her in and looked like this was going to be an epic race. Unfortunately the unlucky Farmer then crashed heavily off of one of the many jumps injuring her previously broken back. Eventually Beth bravely remounted, to ensure she scored points now that the Championship was in her grasp eventually finishing in a brave 9th place. This left the way open for the younger riders to take advantage and go for their best results of the season and they certainly did that. The young Leonni Tighe rode the race of her life getting the better of Catherine and Millie King to grab 2nd place, her career best championship position. The five girls battling for fifth place were only covered by less than 10 seconds, Ciara Roberston was getting more comfortable on her 250f KTM and came out on top to finish 5th with Eleanor Calby close behind and Vicky Marriott just losing out to Georgia Ithell four corners from home.
Fortunately the rain kept off during the days racing but it came back with vengeance through the night making for again very different but challenging conditions on Sunday. With Beth Farmer still sore from her big crash in moto two, just like Saturday it was Jones who put in the fastest qualification time. The most impressive effort though came from Ciara Robertson who grabbed 2nd off of the struggling Farmer. Charlotte Hall and the young Eleanor Calby both put in their best qualifications in 4th and 5th shaping the day up for some great racing.
The rain held off for the day but the conditions were lose and sloppy in places. But as moto one got underway the surprise BelRay holeshot winner was the younger of the King sisters Millie with her first of the series. On a dramatic opening lap though, Jones was to crash hard being pitched over her KTM’s handlebars! Dazed and winded she remounted to put in an impressive fight back. This left Millie King leading a Championship race for the first time and she did a great job holding of sister Catherine, Leonni Tighe and Ciara Robertson but Beth Farmer, despite being still sore was on a charge and putting in a cautious, steady but calculated ride, slowly picking off the front runners. Timing her moves to perfection, Beth eventually hit the front to claim a brilliant win considering her pain. Meanwhile Jones was equally impressive and making great progress, eventually finishing in a brilliant 5th place, Ciara Robertson got the better of the battle with Charlotte Hall and Eleanor Calby while Georgia Ithell finished in 9th place ahead of Grace Bates having to use her 85cc KTM following a mechanically problem with her 125cc Husqvarna.
Moto four gave us the 4th different BelRay hole-shot winner of the day, as Scot Ciara Robertson was quickest Lady away which also set her up for the best race of her career. Taking the win in this one following her earlier crash was Nadiya Jones, but all eyes were on the great battle for 2nd.Robertson was determined to keep her 2nd place to Jones but Tighe had different ideas, The hard charging Tighe pushed hard enough to take the runners-up slot with Robertson 3rd and Millie King riding a solid, steady race in 4th. Farmer took a cautious approach, with pins and rods still in her back from breaking it last year, she again rode to score vital Championship points, finishing in 5th place. Charlotte Hall was determined to stay with the front runners coming in behind Farmer and ahead of Catherine King, Georgia Ithell who managed to hold off the young Eleanor Calby and Grace Bates.
We have seen the Championship girls improve every race and with two more rounds remaining and seven hole-shot winners the rest of the championship is going to be unpredictable and exciting.
Pos Competitor Total Points r 1 r 2 r 3
1 461 Nadiya Jones 105 45 60 –
2 541 Bethany Farmer 105 60 45 –
3 119 Leonni Tighe 101 47 54 –
4 618 Camilla King 101 54 47 –
5 33 Ciara Robertson 93 43 50 –
6 708 Catherine King 91 50 41 –
7 85 Charlotte Lily Hall 84 41 43 –
8 342 Georgia Ithell 76 37 39 –
9 20 Eleanor Calby 76 39 37 –
10 341 Grace Bates 70 35 35 –
11 173 Gemma Holtham 66 33 33 –
12 515 Abbie Hayley Chambers 60 31 29 –
13 11 Vicky Marriott 58 27 31 –
14 589 Leah Monks 56 29 27 –
15 219 Hannah Stone 52 26 26 –
16 243 Lauren Hurst 50 25 25 –