Fast Farmer takes the Title. British Womens Motocross Championship Round 5 – Race Report and Results
In what as been a successful inaugural season, the new BWMA British Womens Motocross Championship reached it’s 2017 finale last Saturday.
Report and Images by Howard Marriott
The demanding Gloucestershire circuit at Brookthorpe was the venue but who would be crowned the Queen and also take home the fantastic £1,000 put up by the main sponsor Westermans International? Going into this event there was to be no less than four riders in mathematical contention for glory as Bethany Farmer came in to the round with a strong lead but being chased down by 16 year old Leonni Tighe and Wiltshire sisters Catherine and Milly King.
On the superbly prepped track it was 2T KTM ace Nadiya Jones who put in the fastest qualifying lap earning her the crucial first gate pick for all the races. Bethany Farmer though showed that she was definitely ready for the challenge ahead being next best with Catherine King also recording a really quick session to bag 3rd . Newcomer to the series, Sophia Levell was 4th fastest as Leonni Tighe, currently runner up in the series was in 5th place.
So with qualifying done it was now time for the talking to stop and the destination of the BWMA title to be decided. Naturally tension was high and the girls nerves were jangling as the gate dropped to signal the launch of moto one. With everything to go for Catherine King put her mark down and made her intentions perfectly clear by not only claiming the BelRay Holeshot but also posting the fastest lap of the race. In contrast, Nadiya Jones had not enjoyed such a dream start to proceedings, falling on turn two and restarting last. Meanwhile series leader Farmer exited the second corner in fourth and just behind title rival Leonni Tighe but Catherine King was on a mission, pulling out quite a lead. As the race progressed Nadiya Jones made a storming comeback to earn an impressive 4th place but upfront there was no stopping the flying Catherine King. On completion the delighted Midwest Racing Husqvarna rider was full of smiles having recorded her first Championship victory of the series. Crucially as the moto closed, Beth Farmer had moved up to grab 2nd with Leonni Tighe taking 3rd, Sophia Level 5th, Eleanor Calby 6th and Charlotte Hall in 7th. They were followed home by Ciara Robertson and Louise Powell with Camilla King rounding out the top 10.
Moto two and Catherine King grabbed another Bel-Ray holeshot followed by Ciara Robertson, Leonni Tighe and Bethany Farmer. Jones again got a poor start but this time remained on-board, then showing her true class by not only putting in the fastest lap but also working through the field before taking a great win. Requiring just a finish to claim the first ever BWMA title, Farmer settled for a safe 3rd spot in this one. Although early leader King eventually succumbed to Jones speed and dropped to 2nd this was still to be a big result for Catherine with Tighe restricted to a 5th place finish behind Sophia Levell. With the points gap between King and Tighe tightening for the right to finish 2nd in the final standings, the same story played out with Calby and Hall, a mere two points separating them and meaning that the last race would be crucial. Another potential deciding factor for that last moto would be the track which was starting to get rough and technical catching a few riders out, one being the BWMA Championship series founder Vicky Marriott who was struggling all day to get into a rhythm. Crashing heavily and being taken to hospital with concussion, thankfully after a head scan Vicky was discharged and able to make the journey back home to the East Midlands.
Although Farmer had sewn up the Championship, there was still plenty to race for as the last moto of the season went into action. Vicky Marriott had put up a Casio G Shock watch for the fastest lap in the last race of the last round for added incentive. Again Catherine King grabbed the Bel-Ray holeshot, remarkably her 7th in a row to also win the Bel-Ray Holeshot Championship. Both King and Beth Farmer, despite the latter having nothing to play for both put in some rapid laps but it was Nadiya Jones again on a characteristic charge from a poor start who grabbed the watch with a great lap. In the moto that unfolded and despite being the Champion, Farmer then proceeded to finish the campaign in the best style possible by celebrating with a race win. Doing her very best to take the battle for the remaining top three positions to the wire, Catherine King again finished just ahead of Leonni Tighe but it was not enough to stop the exciting Kawasaki rider from bagging a richly deserved runners-up slot in the series. After losing out to Eleanor Calby in the first two races Charlotte Hall gave it her all in moto three, getting home in 5th. Eleanor Calby after some great rides struggled in this one and could only manage 8th place. This final race typified the quality skill and determination which has been in abundance and displayed throughout the series by all the girls. That fighting spirit being epitomised by the efforts of Leah Monks who has steadily improved in each and every round and grabbed the last trophy position in 10th place.
So the final result in this inaugural BWMA British Womens Motocross Championship sponsored by Westermans International was a win for Bethany Farmer taking home the £1000 prize, in 2nd place and earning £500 was the super quick 16 year old Leonni Tighe with Catherine King finishing in 3rd place and taking £250 for her efforts. This has been an incredibly successful series and we look forward to doing it all again in 2018 bigger and better, so all you female motocross racers out there watch this space!
Round 5 Result
1st. Beth Farmer – 164 points
2nd. Catherine King – 164 points
3rd. Nadiya Jones – 161 points
4th. Leonni Tighe – 142 points
5th. Sophia Levell – 135 points
6th. Charlotte Hall – 125 points
7th. Ciara Robertson – 123 points
8th. Eleanor Calby – 123 points
9th. Camilla King – 121 points
10th. Leah Monks – 101 point