After a well-received week off from racing, the riders of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship returned to action on Saturday in Millville, Minnesota to kick off the second half of the series with the Spring Creek National. Round 7 of 12, the Spring Creek circuit is always among the rider’s favorites on tour thanks to its loamy soil and natural, hilly landscape, but on Saturday morning the famed venue was bombarded with rain showers that would create challenging, muddy conditions during the first half of the day.
With the skies clearing and track conditions improving as the afternoon approached, the enthusiastic Minnesota motocross faithful were treated to a spectacular day of racing, and Red Bull’s Ashley Fiolek threw down an impressive 1-2 performance to maintain her championship points cushion.
In the premier 450 class, Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi spent the day battling inside the top-five, eventually finishing with a series-best fourth overall.
Fiolek Maintains Championship Points Lead
The rain, mud and resulting adverse track conditions that surfaced early in the day at Millville weren’t enough to stop young phenom Ashley Fiolek from dominating the opening WMX moto aboard her factory Honda CRF250R.
Fiolek came into Millville rested and confident after absolutely dominating the WMX action at RedBud two weeks ago with impressive 1-1 moto scores to extend her championship points lead to eight. Picking up right where she left off, Ashley set the quickest qualifying lap time of the morning (2.27.141) during the WMX timed qualifying sessions before grabbing the holeshot and leading every lap en route to a dominant moto one win.
Behind Fiolek, series rival Jessica Patterson crossed the line over 14 seconds back, and Red Bull teammate Tarah Gieger (pictured above) cruised in for a strong third after battling with Patterson early on.
Though unable to repeat her winning performance in Moto #2, Fiolek did exactly what she needed in order to maintain her eight-point gap in the championship standings, as she motored in for a conservative second-place finish behind Patterson. Patterson was awarded the overall win for the day at Millville, but both riders received 47 points after splitting the motos (2-1, 1-2), and thus the championship scenario remains the same as the women of the WMX now head into a five-week break before returning to action at Southwick on August 27th.
Gieger finished the day in third overall with consistent 3-3 moto scores, and the likeable Puerto Rico native continues to sit comfortably in third for the championship.
SPRING CREEK WMX OVERALL RESULTS
1. Jessica Patterson (2-1)
2. Ashley Fiolek (1-2)
3. Tarah Gieger (3-3)
4. Vicki Golden (4-4)
5. Kasie Creson (7-5)
6. Jacqueline Strong (5-7)
7. Marissa Markelon (8-6)
8. Alexah Pearson (10-8)
9. Lindsey Palmer (9-9)
10. Jackie Ives (12-10)
Alessi One Step Closer to the Box
In one of the most highly-contested 450-class outdoor motocross championships in history, Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi has established himself as a top-five threat despite starting the series out with a spectacular crash (and concussion) at round one back in mid May. After missing the first two rounds of action, Alessi has quickly raced his way back into form, and at Millville he spent the day fighting for a podium spot in both motos.
Though just off the pace of the top-three late in each moto, the number 800 held tough to capture solid 4-4 moto scores to end the day in fourth overall behind Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, and Trey Canard. Knocking on the door of his first podium performance of the series, look for Alessi to come out swinging next weekend at the Washougal National.
Behind Alessi, Red Bull KTM teammate Andrew Short laid down consistent rides to finish the day at Spring Creek with a 7-9 for eighth overall.
SPRING CREEK 450 MOTOCROSS OVERALL RESULTS
1. Ryan Dungey (2-1)
2. Ryan Villopoto (3-2)
3. Trey Canard (5-3)
4. Mike Alessi (4-4)
5. Chad Reed (1-14)
6. Brett Metcalfe (6-5)
7. Jake Weimer (8-6)
8. Andrew Short (7-9)
9. Justin Brayton (12-7)
10. Kevin Windham (11-10)
Stay tuned as the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series heads to the Pacific Northwest next weekend for Round 8 of men’s action -- the Washougal National.
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