A sunny Brookthorpe was the venue for the 3rd Round of the BWMA Westermans International British Womens Motocross Championship and following an exciting 2 day meeting at Bushton all the main players knew what they had to do.
Redline Westermans Honda Rider Chelsea Gowland was returning after a history making 1st round of the AMCA MX2 Championship where she was the first girl ever to qualify in 27th place and bagged a couple of 25th places, Amie Goodlad was determined to close the gap and put some pressure for the lead while Leonni Tighe on her IDS Passion Racing Husqvarna was equally determined to make a further impression on Goodlad's pace while the rest of the top 10 stacked with fast up and coming girls all wanting to improve their positions. The 27 strong field this year is so strong all the way through to back with everyone having someone to battle. Transponder recording on the day was compromised so timings were unreliable and had to revert to manual lap scoring.
The track was well prepared and watered and with good weather the conditions were perfect for the first of the Elite ladies race. Against expectations former Ladies IMBA rider Georgia Ithell took the BelRay Holeshot but was quickly passed by Chelsea Gowland on the second corner, determined not to let Gowland pull too much of a lead Goodlad quickly pushed through to give chase with Tighe in close pursuit, but the blistering pace of Gowland in the opening lap soon was enough to give her a safe lead which she maintained to the end. Behind Gowland the racing was close and frantic, Tighe rode her heart out to try and close in on Goodlad but eventually had to settle for 3rd defending her position from the hard charging Taylor Scott who got the better of Nadiya Jones who managed desperately to hold off the fast Honda UK rider Ellie Sleightholm, rounding out the top ten was Eleanor Calby racing for the first time on a 250f KTM switching from her 125, the consistent Midwest Husqvarna rider Cath King just surviving the assault from Realising Dreams Honda rider Charlotte Hall, closely followed by BWMA organiser Vicky Marriott on her Redline Westermans Yamaha, just holding back the late charge of young Jaymee Garrood.
The track started to get choppy for the second of the Eite Adults race and again it was a repeat of race 1 with Georgia Ithell blasting out another clear BelRay Holeshot, but again Gowland pounced to take the lead and again quickly pull a comfortable gap to Amie Goodlad, this time Ellie Sleightholm had a better start and was challenging for the top positions with Tighe getting the better in a rivetting battle eventually taking the 3rd place spot, the first time this year the top 3 positons had changed, Nadiya Jones again had a cosistent ride in 5th but was put under pressure by a confident Cath King who managed to break free of the battle between Charlotte Hall, Kayleigh Durston and the unfortunate Taylor Scott who took a tumble but quickly remounted for 9th just keeping Georgia Patterson at bay in 10th.
By the time the third race came the track was very dry and hard packed, watering during the day had helped but conditions were tough. Back to form though Leonni Tighe took the final BelRay Holeshot and was determined to try and lead but again Gowland quickly pounced and took the lead this time Goodlad pressured her and managed to maintain a close gap but Gowland was only doing enough to keep a safe distance and take all three wins, Tighe got the better of Sleightholm chased hard by the pack of Taylor Scott, Cath King and Charlotte Hall, behind them the battle for the final top 10 places was close with Kayleigh Durston getting the better of Georgia Ithell with Vicky Marriott nibbling at her ankles but couldn't do enough to pass.
1st Chelsea Gowland 180pts
2nd Amie Goodlad - 162pts
3rd Leonni Tighe - 147pts
4th Ellie Sleightholm - 140pts
5th Taylor Scott - 129pts
6th Catherine King - 125pts
7th Charlotte Hall - 119pts
8th Nadiya Jones - 115pts
9th Kayleigh Durston - 107pts
10th Georgia Ithell - 101pts
The Youth class is proving to be a hotbed of talent with the super quick Elisha Elliott again taking pole position but now the rest of the field know what they have to do they all showed tremendous determination to fight for each and every position.
Race 1 and Elisha Elliot took the BelRay Holeshot and quickly pulled out a gap, she was followed by Jaysi Austin who was doing everything she could to hold off the charge of Grace Packman, this battle proved too much for Packman who made a small mistake dropping her down to 6th at the finish. Packmans mistake allowed Hannah Jones to push through to 3rd dragging, Izzy Neal who had just recovered from a fractured wrist and being run over in qualifying, the Scot Cristina Palmer pushing through ahead of Packman for 5th, 7th place was taken by Pippa Lloyd ahead of Ella Hollingsbee, Megan Radford and Caitlin Williams.
With a track roughing up it was Elisha Elliott again only just pipping Cristina Palmer for the BelRay holeshot, the flying start by Palmer gave her the opportunity to run at the front, a battle ensued with Jaysi Austin getting the better of Palmer but a last lap crash by Austin gave Palmer the 2nd place, Austin remounted but not until Hannah Jones nipped by for another 3rd place, Izzy Neale grabbing 4th, then behind Austin Pippa Lloyd got the better of the battle with Ella Hollingsbee with Fahren Fraser and Caitlin Williams rounding out the top 10.
The final race of the day and Elisha Elliots grasp on the BelRay holeshot was taken by Cristina Palmer who absolutely nailed it. Elliott was quick to take the lead but Palmer put up a tremendous fight to hold off Jaysi Austin who managed to take 2nd and this time stay on the bike with Hannah Jones in tow for another 3rd place dropping Palmer down to 4th place but making tremendous progress, Izzy Neale took a hard fought 5th place on a rough technical track, a tremendous effort with the wrist injury she was carrying, Grace Packman led Ella Hollingsbee home for 6th and 7th getting the better this time of Pippa Lloyd, Caitlin Williams and Fahren Fraser in 10th place.
1st Elisha Elliott 180pts
2nd Jaysi Austin 153pts
3rd Hannah Jones 150pts
4th Cristina Palmer 146pts
5th Izzy Neale 139pts
6th Grace Packman 129pts
7th Pippa Lloyd 121pts
8th Ella Hollingsbee 119pts
9th Caitlin Williams 107pts
10th Megan Radford 103pts
Words and images by Howard Marriott
The results of the event are below.