2018 BWMA British Womens Motocross Championship – Season Preview
After a successful first season the BWMA (British Womens Motocross Association) is looking forward to it’s second year with more riders and a new 85cc Youth class. Formed by Vicky Marriott and her father Howard Marriott to give the UK girls a structured Championship and a pathway to European competition giving them experience to progress to World Championship level.
Feature image of Ciara Robertson and courtesy of MadMax Media
The series kicks off this weekend (1st and 2nd April) at Grittenham with a fantastic entry already signed up.
With last years title sponsors Westermans International continuing to support the series and the organisations 382MX Racer Development Program, Claire Westerman said,
“After a successful inauguration of the British Women’s MX Championship, our family business Westermans
International, did not hesitate when Vicky and Howard Marriott approached us to continue to be the title sponsor of the 2018 season.
Our Founder, Peter Westerman made sure from the start each and every one of his family had to love motorbikes. Even at 82 he is still riding his 1200cc BMW around the UK.
When attending the 2017 series, he was astounding but delighted to witness these determined girls prove themselves out on some very difficult tracks.”
Claire Spillane, Financial Director knows what it’s like to be in a male dominated environment. The Leicester based engineering company supplies welding equipment around the world so she could understand why an all-female Championship was so vital
for Motocross in the Britain. “The enjoyment, development and rewards the BWMA has given all the riders is just something we certainly want to carry on and support.” Claire continued
“The whole family enjoyed last season, more often than not at the side of the track. To watch the girls skills improve and grow in confidence was brilliant. Then to get the chance to represent Great Britain at the European IMBAs is a very proud achievement not only for the girls for also for our business.
We wish all the Riders the very best of luck for 2018 and can’t wait to be at the first round in April.”
In addition to Westermans International, the series is happy to retain BelRay as sponsors of the Holeshot prize for each race in each class, Ducksmart Bike Cleaner, continuing their support with registration prizes, Mark Monaghan from Rapid Moto Distribution said, “We are pleased to continue our partnership with the BWMA Racing Series this year and supporting it with our brands; Bel-Ray, Duck Smart & Torc1 Racing. They put a great effort into running the series in a professional way and we hope it will continue to be a success for everyone involved.”
The BWMA are also proud to introduce New sponsor Duke Energy Drink, Dukes founder Nick Fratitni said “DUKE
Energy is a brand that admires strong athletes, that’s why we’re delighted to be sponsoring the BWMA for the next three years. Howard and Vicky have provided a great platform for female motorcross in Britain, harvesting talent from across the nation and here at DUKE we are privileged to have the opportunity to be part of the journey.”
Pro-Active Resolutions will be sponsoring the Fastest Lap in each class with a sports watch for the rider with the most fastest laps in each class at the end of the season, 1stMX are sponsoring the Coaching structure for 382MX Racer Development Program and UK Carpbaits are supporting the IMBA team with traveling expenses, so the series has a huge amount of backing and with it only in it’s second year that’s a huge testament to the hard work put in by Howard and Vicky.
The championship is run in conjunction with the AMCA and with that allows the top championship riders the
opportunity to compete for the Great Britiain IMBA European Ladies Championship. Last years British Championship winner Bethany Farmer was also the highest placed British Girl ever with an overall 5th place. With this confidence she is now competing in the full Womens GP Championship this year.
The series is becoming recognised as a major UK Motocross Championship with many of the girls securing some great sponsorship deals for the new season.
Here’s what some of the 2018 contenders have to say leading up to the series opener:
Bethany Farmer – Champion
“Last year was a really good year for me, I won the British Women’s Motocross Association Championship and also got 5th in the IMBA European Ladies Champion so I was really pleased with that. This year I’m hoping to defend my British title and also to compete in the world championship at a competitive level, I am really excited to do this as it’s a big step and has been my dream since I was 6 years old. My sponsors for 2018 are; Fatree5, Nils oils, King and Stevens, Southern Cross Packaging, Chris Churchill, Boxhall LTD, Busy Bee Preschool.”
Leonni Tighe – Runner up
“The BWMA championship in is a really organised, well ran and friendly championship to be involved with. I came away with 2nd overall in the championship last year and with great support from Chad Yarranton at IDS transport | Passion racing this year I hope to be running up there again taking each race as it comes.
Chad Yarranton “Having followed Leonni’s progress over the past 12 months her hard work and commitment didn’t go unnoticed. The BWMA Championship is something completely new to me but I’m excited to be supporting the series through one of their many riders. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Leonni and her family the best of luck for this season”
Catherine King – 3rd place
“The 2017 season was consistent and a positive one for me, achieving strong 3rds in both the BWMA and Acerbis Nationals I was the first to be crowned Belray holeshot champion topping the table with a round to go. This year I will be competing in the BWMA with the aim of improving my final position and have been chosen to represent GB in the IMBA which will mean travelling around Europe with the aim to finish top 10 overall. I must say a very big thank you to everyone backing me especially Midwest Racing Husqvarna, GPgraphics, Route2fitness, Dixonhealth, Gibson Tyres, Mindfx, Rip&Roll, Rockoil, RFX and FMF.”
Chelsea Gowland – Championship leader before Injury
“Last year I competed in the BWMA Championship on my 5 year old Honda with little chance of being able to afford anything newer. My early performances by winning all my races and pushing Steffi Laire for the lead in the last race of the GB IMBA round before breaking my ankle, was enough to get me recognised by Redline Motorcycles who have supported me on a brand new Honda this year, with further support from the BWMA’s 382MX Rider Development Program, BelRay, Axo, Rip’N’Roll, SPS Suspension, She Who Dares Clothing. This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for this great championship.”
Ellie Sleightholm – New to Championship
“I chose to enter the BWMA Championship this year as it was clearly evident how much Howard and the organisers care about women in motocross. It looks like the championship is going to be the most competitive yet and I’m really looking forward to mixing it up with the fastest girls in the UK! . Last year I was on course to finish 2nd in the Acerbis Championship before breaking my arm. I’m a rider for Honda UK with support from Craigs Motorcycles, MC Hub, RaceFX, Seven MX, Bell Helmets, Alpinestar Boots, RipnRoll Goggles, Planet Suspension and Putoline.”
Ciara Robertson – 7th place, Scotland
“The 17 year old rode with the BWMA last year and finished a comfortable 7th. “This year i hope to make it on the podium after all the winter training. I’m looking forward to the IMBA europeans this year, gaining valuable experience which wouldn’t have been possible without the BWMA. My sponsors for this season apart from my dad who drives me all over the UK and now Europe are”
New for 2018, is a 85cc Youth Championship, which has been to set up nurture the champions of the future. There is a strong line up for the first season of this class, attracting riders from the South coast of England to Scotland.
We hear from some of the riders in this new class..
Cristina Palmer – 85cc Youth, Scotland
“I love racing motocross and am looking forward to the BWMA championship, Although I ride at British level in mostly all boys championships, It is very exciting to look forward to an all Girl Championship on the start of my journey towards my goal of getting to top level Girls, European & World MX. There are many dedicated and fast girls in the UK who work very hard to get to top level, I admire them very much . I would like to thank all the people who support me, especially Drysdale Motorcycles, Michelin, Rock Oil, Fox Europe, Red Cat Marketing, G force suspension.”
Izzy Neale – 85cc Youth
“Thanks to the recent support/training from Rikki Priest I feel ready to take my riding to the next level. I felt the BWMA Championship with what they are trying to achieve for girls
would be perfect for me to help me on my journey to succeed and be recognized as a female rider in the world of MX. I am really looking forward to being part of Championship and also receiving support from the 382MX Racer Development Program.”
GB Ladies IMBA Team – A season full of promise.
For 2018, Great Britain has the best chance possible of winning the Team champinship and individual championship for the first time ever, establishing Great Britain as world leading nation for Womens Motocross.
This years team of Leonni Tighe, Catherine King, Charlotte Hall, Eleanor Calby, Ciara Robertson, Nadiya Jones and Chelsea Gowland are sponsored by UK CarpBaits and Westermans International, to help with travelling expenses.
Steve Milner of UK CarpBaits said. “It’s exciting times for UK ladies motocross and with the IMBA team traveling over the channel to compete around Europe we here at UkCarpBaits just had to come up with something to help the riders out. We all know how much it costs just to ride in the UK never mind travelling across Europe That’s where we here at UkCarpBaits stepped in to help the team with traveling costs. Motocross had always been a man’s sport but just like the industry I’m in they’re more ladies taking up the sports and why not we say. It’s exciting times and we are excited to be part of this.”
The first round is a two day Easter meeting on 1st and 2nd of April at Grittenham organized by the Devizes AMCA club. You can follow the progress of the British Womens Championship and the IMBA Championship on Dirt Hub and by following the Facebook page and the website www.bwma-uk.com