Women's motocross is finally getting a name for itself in the UK. The Westerman's BWMA Championship round took place this weekend at Lower Drayton Farm in Penkridge alongside the AMCA IMBA races. Giving the youth and adult girls a fun, fast-paced track to get some laps in, the girls would have a series of five races over the two-day event. Couple the heats with that format and it was a testing event that pushed them all to their limits!
Current adult championship leader, Chelsea Gowland, looked her super-smooth self heading into the first race on Saturday morning and secured a win by forty-second seconds ahead of Amy Goodlad. Gowland took the holeshot again in the second race, shortly followed by WMXGP rider Amy Goodlad on the charge. Leonni Tighe and Nadiya Jones battled for third and fourth position.
Gowland, looking more and more comfortable on her Redline-backed Honda each time she went out, went through to take all three race wins on the Saturday. MX Vice caught up with her on the Saturday evening. "I've really enjoyed the track," Gowland said. "I rode here last year and they have changed a few bits to it, but I'm relatively happy with my riding. The first race I had a big gap so I was just riding round. The second race Amy [Goodlad] was right on me the whole race, so it was a lot of pressure. I came into a lot of backmarkers, which made it hard on the last lap, but I got the win so that's what matters."
When I mentioned to her she had a forty-one second lead at one point, Gowland laughed and said, "At least you know you can chill out a bit then. I think I have to remind myself sometimes just to calm down and I don't have to go flat out every single lap! Recently I've been riding with the men and I think I do ride better with the men, as I'm having to ride flat out every lap and that's what I need to push myself."
Chelsea has been making history this year as the only female (ever) to qualify for an AMCA Championship round and the only female British rider to win an IMBA race. Her plans are hoping to take her on to the WMX rounds of MXGP next season, if she gets the backing behind her.
The youth class was dominated by the very talented pair of Jaysi Austin and Elisha Elliot, with them battling across the three races that were on Saturday's timetable. The pink mohawk of Elisha Elliot taking the overall win from Jaysi Austin. I caught up with the girls over the weekend.
"Yeah I've had a great day, but I'm terrible at my concrete starts," Elliot said. "I had to push my way through to the front, but in the last race I got the holeshot and I had a lead by forty seconds."
Austin said, "The first race I was leading, then I came off which put me in second. The second race same again I was leading and then on the last lap I fell off which put me into second again. When asked on her plans for next year, she simply said, "I want to win." You can't get more enthusiastic than that.
You'll be seeing more of the girls battling it out on the following round at Wroxton on July 8th.
Words: Sophie Mcginn | Lead Image: AMCA Events