The 12th and final round of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series went off without a hitch at the new Southern California home of the Nationals (Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park) on Saturday afternoon, and in the Women’s Motocross class, Red Bull’s Ashley Fiolek overcame early season adversity to secure back-to-back WMX championships in dramatic fashion at the Elsinore finale. Topping series rival Jessica Patterson and Red Bull teammate Tarah Gieger to secure her fourth title in just five years, Fiolek now looks to open a new chapter in life, as this was reportedly the final WMX series of the 21-year-old’s still young career.
Five points separated Red Bull’s Ashley Fiolek from [then] championship points leader Jessica Patterson when the gates dropped for WMX moto one, but the likeable Floridian went straight to work on the deficit by grabbing the holeshot to lead things early. Fiolek was passed on lap two by the visiting, and newly crowned WMX World Champion, Chiara Fontanesi of Italy, but continued stretching her lead over the rest of her competition. When the checkers flew, Fiolek crossed the line in second, collecting four more points than Patterson (who finished fourth) to close the points gap to one heading into the final moto of the series.
Red Bull-backed TLD Honda’s Tarah Gieger finished moto one in fifth after dropping two positions late in the race, but remained in the title hunt heading into the last moto.
With moto one winner Fontanesi not a factor in the points chase, Fiolek’s only concern in moto two was finishing ahead of Patterson if she hoped to lock up back-to-back WMX titles. Riding a conservative yet calculated race, Fiolek gave way to Fontanesi on lap one after grabbing another holeshot, and proceeded to hold down the second position until letting Mariana Balbi by on the final lap. With Patterson behind her, Fiolek’s third place finish was all she needed to earn her fourth WMX title in five years.
Gieger’s fourth overall finish at Elsinore was good enough to secure second-place honorsin the series standings behind Red Bull teammate Fiolek.
WMX OVERALL RESULTS
1. Chiara Fontanesi (1-1), 2. Mariana Balbi (3-2), 3. Ashley Fiolek (2-3), 4. Tarah Gieger (5-5), 5. Taylor Higgins (8-4)
WMX SERIES STANDINGS
1. Ashley Fiolek (317), 2. Tarah Gieger (302), 3. Jessica Patterson (298), 4. Mariana Balbi (269), 5. Jacqueline Strong (236)