Hot Stuff! British Womens Motocross Championships Round 6 – Race Report and Results
The 6th Round of the BWMA Westermans International British Womens Motocross Championship was held at Lower Drayton over two days Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June, with the Elite Adults only supporting the AMCA IMBA Champioship on the Sunday.
Report by Howard Marriott – Images courtesy of Howard Marriott and Steve Milner
The weather was hot and dry and the Cannock AMCA Club did a fantastic job in watering and preparing the track for a great weekend of racing. The Saturday was the only day for the Youth Championship and on a track with not many classes, kept in good condition to produce some really exciting battles.
Qualifying for both classes was held on Saturday and would stand for gate position for all races so it was important to get a good position although the concrete start would have a bearing on those that had never done one before. The Elite Adults were first and you could tell from the start that Amy Goodlad was determined to put in a good performance on a technical track that would cut up and suit her style, as the session progressed timings were changing quickly and again the top two of Goodlad and Chelsea Gowland on the Redline Honda put in some stunning laps with Gowland coming out on top with a time that would have put her 4th in IMBA MX 2 qualifying, Behind this pair Ellie Sleightholm was in determined mood to improve her championship position by grabbing fourth behind the familiar position of Leonni Tighe in 3rd. Within half a second was Nadiya Jones feeling comfortable back on the 125cc Apex KTM and a super impressive ride from Kayleigh Durston in 6th, Taylor Scott on her Hard Racing Honda got the better of Charlotte Hall, Catherine King and Eleanor Calby in 10th but you knew this was going to be a battle that wasn’t going to go away.
The Youths turn and now that Elisha Elliott was back on her own bike she was determined to stamp her authority on the championship, but Jaysi Austin has had a taste of victory and she like it, she wasn’t going to give that up cheaply. As it turned out Elliott put in a storming qualifier 3 seconds ahead of Austin, but behind them the times were a lot closer, Rheanna Morgan-Rogers taking 3rd ahead of Hannah Jones, Grace Packman, Izzy Neale suffering bike problems towards the end of the session and Caitlin Williams, with Megan and Mollie Radford taking 8th and 9th place.
Race 1 in the Elite Adults and it was a determined Leonni Tighe on her IDS Passion Racing Husqvarna that took the BelRay holeshot by a front wheel from Amie Goodlad closely followed by Chelsea Gowland on her Redline Honda with Marni Saunders, Georgia Ithell and Nadiya Jones in close pursuit. This had all the makings of an epic race with Goodlad quickly taking the lead followed by Gowland in hot pursuit both putting an immediate gap on the rest of the field but a mistake by Goodlad dropped her down the field leaving her with it all to do, she was clearly disappointed and put on an almighty charge but having to pick her way back up the field allowed Gowland to take a comfortable win, further down the places were swapping corner by corner, Taylor Scott on her Hard Racing Honda got bad start almost last and had to work her way up the field and by end of lap 2 was up to 9th, her rivals Marni Saunders and Charlotte Hall were having a great battle for 5th and 6th while Eleanor Calby was swapping places with Kayleigh Durston for 7th and 8th and Ellie Sleightholme in 10th. Scott though was determined and put up a tremendous battle to pick her way up to 5th with three laps to go but despite closing on Nadiya Jones in 4th she left too much to do and had to settle for 5th.
Race 2 and this time Gowland took the BelRay holeshot by a clear two bike length but determined to pull a gap but right on her tale again was Amie Goodlad, and Leonni Tighe. Gowland pulled a gap but Goodlad was running a faultless race matching Gowlands best time to within 100th of a second, throughout the race the gap was tantalisingly close and it was only when the back markers started to come into play that Goodlad made a better job of passing than Gowland closing in each time a rider was lapped pulling up to within 2 seconds at the finish, it was the race we were hoping for. Meanwhile again the top ten were trading places, the promising young Taylor Scott got another poor start struggling with the concrete start pad and had to fight her way through the field, up ahead of her Charlotte Hall on the Realising Dreams Honda was having the race of her life chasing 3rd place Tighe while keeping the talented Nadiya Jones behind, this could go either way but Jones had pressure now from the quickly advancing Scott who reeled her in forcing a mistake from Jones as she hit neurtrel allowing Scott to take another 5th place behind Hall, Jones managing to keep ahead of Marni Saunders, Catherine King and Ellie Sleightholm with Georgia Ithell Rounding out the top 10.
Race 3 and again Gowland took the BelRay holeshot prize with Goodlad right on her tale, Saunders close by in third, Ithell 4th, Jones 5th.and Sleightholm 6th, Scott again got a terrible start almost dead last doing it the hard way again. At the front Gowland took advantage of a small mistake by Goodlad denying us a repeat of the epic race 2, but Goodlad still kept Gowland honest to the finish. Saunders though had the race of her championship following her great start she held 3rd place all the way to the finish despite Charlotte Hall pressing her all the way, Sleightholme fell but quickly remounted to chase down 7th place but Scott had already worked her way past on to another great 5th place after Jones also fell dropping her down to 10th. Cathering King snook into 6th place, behind Sleightholme Kayleigh Durston and Chloe Richards had a fantastic battle for 8th and 9th.
That was the end of day one but unfortunately Ellie Sleightholm was suffering, it turned out she suffered a concussion in her fall and had to go to hospital where she is still under observations so the whole of the BWMA family are thinking of her and wishing her well.
Day 2 Race 1 and the track had been heavily watered for the IMBA classes and the AMCA Sidecar Championship. The Elite Adults were first out and picking up where she left off, Gowland took the first holeshot of the day, with Tighe second, Saunders 3rd, Vicky Marriott on the Redline Yamaha 4th, Durston in 5th and Scott in 6th,Goodlad was down in 7th and new if she was going to have a chance she had to get on to Gowlands tale quickly, by the end of the first lap she was through and chasing, the gap again was safe but as the race progressed the pace of Goodlad got stronger and she was chipping away at Gowlands lead, the lappers again played into the hands of Goodlad but she just ran out of time finishing just two seconds behind Gowland for 2nd, interestingly the lap times of both Gowland and Goodlad would have put them in the top 5 of the Mens MX2 IMBA just demonstrating how quick these girls are, Scott was making life easier for herself with a good start and showed what she could do putting pressure on Saunders and taking the position allowing her chase down Leonni Tighe for third place, Tighe put up a tremendous fight but Scott pressured her into making a mistake dropping the bike and Scott went through, Tighe remounted and chased hard and the two battled it out but Scott held on by 2 seconds. Nadiya Jones came in a safe 5th Followed by Saunders and Hall despite having a fall but as she wasn’t lapped picked up the 7th place spot. Eleanor Calby, Catherine King and Chloe Richards rounding out the top 10.
Race 2 and by now the girls had been waiting for 4 hours while the IMBA ran its course so had a vital siting lap before their race. Again it was Gowland who took the BelRay holeshot, with Eleanor Calby 2nd and Goodlad 3rd, you could tell though that Goodlad was determined to take the race to Goland she got past Calby and went after Gowland, normally by the end of the first lap their was a gap but Goodlad stuck to her tale and Gowland left the door open for Goodlad to take the lead forcing Gowland into the bank, Gowland lost a few paces but Goodlads pace was so quick Gowland had no reply and settled for a safe second place, leaving Goodlad to take a well earned win. Scott again was in the top ten and quickly got herself onto the rear wheel of Hall in 4th place, these two were racing so close at the same time reeling in Leonni Tighe, both got passed Tighe but Tighe is a fighter and took Scott back producing some of the most exciting racing of the day, Scott again went to pass Tighe coming into a corner and Tighe hit neutrel dropping the bike remounting to take 5th, Scott chased Hall down but couldn’t take third from her missing out by half second.
1st Chelsea Gowland 294pts
2nd Amie Goodlad 276 pts
3rd Taylor Scott 232pts
4th Charlotte Hall 228pts
5th Leonni Tighe 225pts
6th Marni Saunders 214pts
7th Nadiya Jones 213pts
9th Catherine King 191pts
10th Eleanor Calby 168pts
The Youth class was to provide some of the most exciting racing of the weekend, Elisha Elliott was feeling good if not too confident on the concrete start. That showed in race 1 after young Jaysi Austin full of confidence after taking all three wins at the previous round stormed away grabbing the first BelRay holeshot award. For 4 laps it Austin held off Elliott and that confidence was showing, both riders put in a blistering pace, but a mistake from Austin allowed Elliott to take the lead and pull away, but Austin must have been happy with her performance taking it to Elliott the stand out rider of the series so far. Behind them it was anyones race, Hannah Jones was really taking a liking to the rough conditions and between her Grace Packman and Rehanna Morgan-Rogers the places were being swapped lap by lap, in the end it was Packman taking 3rd, followed by Jones and Morgan-Rogers, then Caitlin Williams, Mollie and Megan Radford and then Izzy Neale with a broken bike
Race 2 and in return for the generosity of the previous round where Izzy Neale lent Elliott her bike, Hannah Jones stepped up and lent Neale her spare bike so she could carry on. Jaysi Austin was again to take the BelRay holeshot but this time Elliott wasn’t far behind and again on the fast but technical track Austin held off Elliott for a good few laps, not letting Elliott past it was only again a small mistake feeling the pressure that allowed Elliott past. The battle for third took a new turn, with Jones, Packman and Morgan-Rogers trading places throughout the race, providing some of the most exciting racing but this time it was Morgan-Rogers that took the third place followed by Jones and then Packman, Izzy Neale on Jones’ bike grabbed 6th with Caitlin Williams close by with Mollie and Morgan Radford following.
Race 3 and this time Elliott shot out the gate taking the final BelRay holeshot, and led from the start, Hannah Jones took an impressive second off the start with Austin in 3rd, this allowed Elliott to stretch her lead but Jones was comfortable taking third with Morgan-Rogers and Packman unable to respond,
1st Elisha Elliott 180pts
2nd Jaysi Austin 162pts
3rd Hannah Jones 144pts
4th Rheanna Morgan-Rogers 142pts
5th Grace Packman 140pts
6th Caitlin Williams 125pts
7th Isabelle Neale 123pts
8th Mollie Radford 119pts
9th Megan Radford 113pts