Go Go Gowland! British Womens Motocross Championships Round 5 – Race Report & Results
Round 5 of the BWMA Westermans International British Womens MX Championship was hosted by the Wrekin AMCA Club at their Long Lane circuit. The sandy surface made a difference to the previous hard pack tracks and provided some of the best racing of the year so far.
Report by Howard Marriott – Images courtesy of Gavin Ithell
To make things more interesting the two championship leaders both had to overcome some serious problems before they got to the start line for race 1. Chelsea Gowland fell foul of the motocross bike thieves a week before but a super effort by Team Redline and SPS Suspension Specialists got Chelsea a new Honda ready just in time. Then during qualifying Youth leader Elisha Elliotts bike blew up threatening her championship lead but for the generosity of fellow competitor Izzy Neale who lent her spare bike she could continue her championship fight.
With the transponders being down qualifying for both classes was based on Championship positions, The first Elite Ladies race started off with a first holeshot of the series for Chelsea Gowland who pushed out a strong lead with Amy Goodlad hard on her tail but following a heavy fall by Grace Bates the race was red flagged and re started. The restart saw Georgia Ithell take another BelRay Holeshot but it wasn’t long before Chelsea Gowland got past on the Redline Honda quickly followed by Amy Goodlad who on her preferred sand was determined to take the race to Gowland. these two set a blistering pace but Goodlad was determined not to let Gowland leave her behind and stayed close on her tail to the finish. Behind the mother of all battels was taking shape, third place in the championship and Leonni Tighe on the IDS Passion Racing Husqvarna had a bad start and had to fight through the field picking rider off after rider, it was a gutsy performance but she couldn’t quite catch 3rd place Ellie Sleightholme, behind her Nadiya Jones back on the two stroke KTM was having more comfortable but had to fight to keep Cath King on the Midwest Husqvarna at bay, but she had her own battle finishing just half a second ahead of Taylor Scott, Eleanor Calby just 2 seconds behind, Charlotte Hall only another 2 seconds and Marni Saunders still carrying her Brookthorpe injury bravely taking 10th only 3 seconds behind the racing was that close.
Race two and the one we had all been waiting for. Amy Goodlad shot out the start like a scolded cat to take the BelRay Holeshot, Chelsea Gowland was a few places down but quickly got through to second, Goodlad though was clearly determined to get the better and it took Gowland most of the race to take the lead briefly only to spin out on an up hil corner allowing Goodlad to retake the lead and take the win. Gowland remounted to finish second but again behind her the battle throughout the field was raging. Ellie Sleightolm again was settled in a comfortable third but again Leonni Tighe was down the field following a fall, allowing Taylor Scott and Charlotte Hall to fight for the fourth and fifth with Scott just getting the better followed by Tighe and Marni Saunders fighting hard to take 6th place from her but ran out of time. A tremendous ride from Kayleigh Durston netted her 8th with Nadiya Jones struggling from a fall to bravely fight through to ninth ahead of Eleanor Calby just pipping Cath King for 10th place.
Race three and both Gowland and Goodlad were both on a win and a second so all to play for. Gowland new she had to pull all the stops out the bag to take the overall and this time led from the beginning taking her first BelRay Holeshot of the series, the two of them raced at such an intense pace for the first few laps they pulled a massive gap on the rest, eventually the gap was comfortable for Gowland to settle for the win and the overall. Again behind the excitement was intense. Taylor Scott had been threatening to take a career best third place all day, but this time she had a good start and was pressuring Sleightholme, by lap 4 Scott came down the inside of Sleightholme to go for the pass but got into the real rough stuff kicking her over the bars and ended her challenge with a bang, she remounted but could only salvage 15th for 9th overall, her time will definitely come. That left Sleightholme in 3rd place and let Charlotte Hall take a hard fought 4th place just ahead of Nadiya Jones, Cath King was right behind but couldn’t find the pass while at the same time Marni Saunders and Eleanor Calby were both pressuring for the position and behind them to take a well deserved 10th place was the consistently improving Jaymee Garood.
The racing from these girls was exciting and thrilling all the way through the field with each rider getting better and better as the series progresses.
The Youth Championship was going to be a real exciting prospect with run away leader Elisha Elliott on Izzy Neales spare bike it was going to be interesting to see if she could maintain her dominance. As the gate dropped for race 1 it was Grace Packman who got the BelRay Holeshot and pulled a lead out on the rest of the field with Jaysi Austin pushing through and chasing her down, soon passing Grace for the lead and opening up a gap, meanwhile Elisha Elliott was down in 11th off the start and had a job to pick her way through, Rheanne Morgan-Rogers having a great race ahead of Izzy Neale and was able to hold off Hannah Jones and Elliott but Elliott soon pushed by followed by Jones, Elliot’s next target was Packman but she proved difficult to pass all the time Austin putting more space between them. Eventually Elliott made the pass but it was too late to catch Austin who took her first British Championship race win.
Race 2 and after making some adjustments to the bike Elliott was feeling a bit more comfortable, Again Grace Packman shot out the gate and took the BelRay Holeshot, but this time Elliott wasn’t far behind, these two battled hard and Elliott made a clean pass, but over riding the unfamiliar bike she made a mistake dropping the bike and allowing Austin to steal the lead, the gap was too big for Elliott to make up and Austin took her second Championship win. Grace Packman held on to her third place, followed by Hannah Jones this time ahead of Morgan-Rogers who was doing her best to keep the Scot Cristina Palmer at bay with Izzy Neale close behind.
Race 3 and almost a repeat of race 2 but nonetheless exciting. Packman again taking her third BelRay Holeshot of the day, battling with Jaysi Austin and Elisha Elliott who both had to fight to get past an ever improving Packman, the race was on now as Elliott gave chase and reeled in Austin, with two laps to go Elliott took the lead but again a minor mistake and she dropped it allowing Austin through and with only one lap left leaving her too much to do and settled for her thrid 2nd and 2nd overall behind an super excited Jaysi Austin taking a well earned first British Championship overall. Grace Packman headed the field behind with Hannah Jones and Rheanne Morgan-Rogers, Cristina Palmer, Izzy Neale, Pippa Lloyd and Caitlin Williams rounding out the top 10.
The next round is at the Mens GB IMBA Round at Lower Drayton on 23rd/24th June.
1st Chelsea Gowland 174pts
2nd Amie Goodlad 168pts
3rd Ellie Sleightholme 147pts
4th Leonni Tighe 140pts
5th Charlotte Hall 127pts
6th Nadiya Jones 125pts
7th Catherine King 117pts
8th Marni Saunders 115pts
9th Taylor Scott 114pts
10th Eleanor Calby 111pts
1st Jaysi Austin 180pts
2nd Elisha Elliott 162pts
3rd Grace Packman 150pts
4th Hannah Jones 141pts
5th Rheanna Morgan-Rogers 135pts
6th Cristina Palmer 127pts
7th Izzy Neale 125pts
8th Pippa Lloyd 115pts
9th Caitlin Williams 109pts
10th Megan Radford 70pts
10th Mollie Radford 70pts.