Worth the wait! British Womens Motocross CHampionships Round 1 – Race Report and Results
Report and Images courtesy of Howard Marriott
The riders had all had plenty of race time in preparation for what is the premier Womens Motocross Championship in the UK. A few girls however missed the first round with injury but will be back for round 2.
With a new format for the Adult riders everyone had something to race for, after round 4 the top 10 continue in the new ProClass racing for end of season prize money and next years IMBA Team GB places, from 11 down the girls will be racing for National Championship honours with prizes from sponsor 1stMX.co.uk to challenge for.
This already had a benefit as the mid pack girls were consciously looking to see if they are on target for the ProClass championship making the racing intense all through the field.
Some of the girls were on new bikes and teams and following some good pre-championship results it was difficult to assess the form but it was clear to see they were all determined to improve on last years results. The big question would be who could challenge current champion Chelsea Gowland on her Redline Honda now that last years runner up Amie Goodlad was not competing this year.
Qualifying was tricky on the freshly watered track particularly on the off cambers but it was the super smooth Gowland who put in an incredible time to gain pole position, she was followed by Cath King on her Cheddar MX Honda, then new girl to the series Bethany Allison on the leading 125cc KTM two stroke who was in determined mood to shake the established riders up, Charlotte Hall next on her Realising Dreams Honda and Marni Saunders rounding out the top 5.
Adult girls Race 1 and Gowland stamped her authority on the championship straight away grabbing the BelRay Holeshot and taking a comfortable start to finish win, behind her though the racing throughout was intense. Bethany Allison was in second and for the first half of the race pushing hard maintaining a healthy gap to the battling duo of Marni Saunders and Charlotte Hall who were matching each others speed but it was Hall who eventually took Saunders for third both closely watched by Cath King. Two laps from the end Allison made a mistake and dropped the bike on an off camber dropping down to 5th. A brave performance from Millie King back after a year off with knee surgery dropping it at the start and fighting her way through to 7th place just behind Kayleigh Durston and sister Cath King. Bad luck for Jaymee Garrood who got a puncture half way through but brought it back for valuable points in 13th behind the battle for the top 10 between Grace Bates, Lilly Moreland, Hannah Stone, Caitlin Newman and Georgie Potter.
Race 2 and the nerves had settled, everyone new now what was needed and it was Cath King who stormed out to grab the BelRay holeshot she was followed closely by Gowland looking for a quick pass but hit King’s rear wheel and dropped it on the second corner. Now the race was on, King was passed by Saunders who now was leading her first British Championship race a lead she held on to for half the race, seeing that a lead was up for grabs Hall in 2nd pushed hard to challenge Saunders but despite matching each others times couldn’t make the pass, King by now had dropped to 3rd and Allison was pushing hard to eventually take King for 3rd, but all the time while these were battling away the super smooth Gowland was banging in super quick lap times and pushing her way through to the top, by lap 4 she was now in 3rd and then took the lead to bring home a second race win. Kayleigh Durston brought home a steady sixth ahead of Millie King behing them Jaymee Garrood, Grace Bates and Vicky Marriott rounded out the top 10 with Lily Moreland, Georgie Potter, Caitlin Newman and Hannah Jones only seconds behind showing how intense the battle to stay in the top ten is going to be.
Race 3 and Allison was determined to show just what she is capable of and sneaked in to grab the BelRay Holeshot, again followed by Gowland, Hall, Saunders and King, Gowland again took the lead early and pulled a healthy gap to take maximum points for the weekend and the Championship leaders plate a quality performance, but behind her what looks like the battle for the rest of the season King, Saunders and Hall were fighting for second and this time Hall took it away from Saunders giving her a hard fought 2nd overall, Saunders 3rd only 2 seconds behind Hall showing how close these two were grabbing 3rd overall and King 4th for 4th overall. Allisons fall left it open for Durston to take a great 5th place ahead of Jaymee Garrood leaving Allison to bring it back in 7th but showing she is going to be trouble for the top 5. Unlucky for Vicky Marriott who stalled on the start and was almost half a lap down but she picked her way right up to within 6 seconds of 10th place showing how close the battle for the top 10 was headed by Millie King in 8th, Lily Moreland, Caitlin Newman in 10th just ahead of Grace Bates, Georgie Potter and Hannah Jones.
Running with the 85cc class is a new 65cc Rising stars class to encourage girls from a younger age to take part. With last years champion Elisha Elliot moved up to 125cc but out for the year with injuries the class is wide open for a new champion and it was down to two of last years contenders to fight it out, runner up Jaysi Austin determined to go one better and take this years Championship but Grace Packman has other ideas and clearly was in determined mood taking all 3 BelRay Holeshots. It was Austin though that just had the edge taking all three wins but with Packman only being 4 seconds behind in the last race the season is going to be a close one. New to the championship Katie Morgan was a solid 3rd but didn’t have it all her own way a fall in the last allowed Beanie Reece on her EXE Sports Kawasaki take over 3rd followed by Autumn Jenkinson, this was a great battle and unfortunately for Reece on the last lap a super determined Jenkinson took 3rd spot away from Reece with a great move. In the Rising Stars 65cc class young Poppy Banning took the overall after an unfortunate Ellie Davidson had bike issues and couldn’t finish race 2 and 3.
Round 2 will take place at the Bushton circuit on Saturday 18th May before the AMCA Championships on the Sunday and is set to be another exciting day of top class British Womens Motocross Action.
Adults Ladies Championship
1st Chelsea Gowland 180pts
2nd Charlotte Hall 158pts
3rd Marni Saunders 154pts
4th Catherine King 139pts
5th Bethany Allison 133pts
6th Kayleigh Durston 131pts
7th Camilla King 121pts
8th Jaymee Garrood 111pts
9th Grace Bates 109pts
10th Lily Moreland 107pts
1st Jaysi Austin 180pts
2nd Grace Packman 162pts
3rd Katie Morgan 145pts
4th Autumn Jenkinson 142pts
5th Beanie Reece 139pts
1st Poppy Banning 125pts
2nd Ellie Davidson 39pts