The final round of the BWMA Westermans International British Womens Motocross Championships took place at the Grittenham circuit on Sunday and despite the Championship titles in the Pro-Class and Youths being mere formalities behind there was all to play for the runner up positions and the last of the Team GB IMBA places for 2020.
One thing is clear this year and that is that the new format where the top 10 girls race the first four rounds of the series for qualification to the Pro-class and IMBA team GB places has produced outstanding championship racing.
It has clearly concentrated the riders to continue improving, so much so that the usual qualification gap to pole sitter Chelsea Gowland with her sixth out of seven poles was closed down by the ever-improving Cath King to less than a second – a massive achievement.
With Marni Saunders only one second off that it shows the speed of the girls is getting better and better.
With every single place behind Chelsea Gowland still only separated by a few points there was intense pressure throughout the field to perform and with the fourth race of the day for double points you could cut the tension with a knife.
The top five places were pretty much out of reach but still had their own battle, behind Saunders the usual combatants Bethany Allsion, Kayleigh Durston and Charlotte Hall were all lining up to grab the runner-up spot.
Sixth place and the final IMBA team spot for 2020 was still open to the last five riders in the Pro-class and these were only separated by 10 points going into this round with Lily Moreland currently holding the sixth spot but it was Jaymee Garrood that grabbed seventh followed by Grace Bates in eighth.
In race one Redline Hondas Chelsea Gowland stormed out the gate to grab the BelRay holeshot prize, followed by a focussed Cath King, Charlotte Hall, Marni Saunders, Kayleigh Durston and Lily Moreland determined to maintain her sixth place championship position.
The top six were so evenly matched but it was a super determined Cath King that impressed and turned the tables on Marni Saunders who couldn’t make the pass and settled for third.
The battle for sixth overall and the last IMBA spot was taken head on by Vicky Marriott who after a poor start quickly pulled up to eighth. Hannah Jones led the National Championship girls ahead of Esme King.
At the front Gowland brought home a comfortable race win but also with over three races lead took the 2019 British Championship for the second year in a row.
Marni Saunders took the BelRay Holeshot from Kayleigh Durston hotly followed by Gowland, Hall, King and super determined Vicky Marriott in race two.
Saunders got almost a lap to enjoy leading another British Championship race before the sublime Gowland powered past and pulled a comfortable lead.
King struggled to make ground and Saunders continued to push but again young Charlotte Hall was super impressive not giving Saunders any breathing space and the two crossed the line with half a second between them.
Again Jones led the National Championship battle. Despite Abbie Walker leading Hannah Stone for part of the race the National Class finished as race one with King following Hannah Jones with Stone in third.
Race three and this time it was Gowland who took another BelRay holeshot as Marriott and Garrood crashed, Marriott suffering a suspected fractured shoulder blade and cracked ribs. Her dream was cruelly over.
At the restart and it was 15-year-old Bethany Allison that took the holeshot from Gowland pushing hard and enjoying her time at the front, but again though Gowland got past and steadily pulled another comfortable lead, Allison held onto a superb second place, behind her Hall.
In the National Class Jones took first with King second and Stone third.
For a lot of positions race four was the decider with double points up for grabs. And just as Marriotts dreams were shattered in race three, Charlotte Halls and Kayleigh Durstons took a sickening turn for the worse as Hall was clearly heading for the holeshot she lost the front end coming into turn one and as she fell her bike took out Kayleigh Durston.
They both finished but lost hope of higher positions.
Avoiding this melay National Championship leader Jones stole the holeshot only to lose it to Gowland and bring home her perfect season of 100 per cent race wins, Bethany Allison took advantage of the first corner pile up to take another well earned second ahead of Saunders.
In the National Class Abbie Walker was behind Jones and King.
The Youth class was no less dramatic.
Jaysi Austin again was the class act with fastest qualifying, followed by Katie Morgan in second, Autumn Jenkinson in third, Amber MacGregor fourth and new to the series Georgia Bottriell fifth.
But usual top three contender Beanie Reece only managed one lap in practice to come seventh followed by Sophie Jones, Ellie Davidson and Rising Star rider Poppy Banning.
The format for the day would be three races carrying the usual AMCA points scoring, but due to the previous day’s scheduled racing being cancelled, there was now going to be a fourth race which would carry double points scoring for the championship.
Austin on her Husqvarna took the BelRay holeshot followed closely by Beanie Reece and Amber MacGregor, who fought it out to end, MacGregor passing Reece on the final lap and Katie Morgan fourth.
The super-smooth Jaysi Austin grabbed the BelRay holeshot in race two, followed by a more confident Autumn Jenkinson on her Honda CRF150 with Georgia Bottriell next up on her Honda CRF150.
There was a small gap and then the following pack was headed by Reece, MacGregor and Morgan. It finished Austin, Jenkinson and Bottriell.
Both MacGregor and Reece were close to getting the holeshot in race three, but somehow Austin managed to just keep her 100% record on the day as they went through the first turn with Austin followed by Reece, Jenkinson and Amber MacGregor.
Austin pulled away, but Autumn Jenkinson was riding with the same confidence as she had at the previous round and was hounding Reece all the way around the track. Unfortunately in a clash with Reece Jenkinson fell off and MacGregor and Morgan blasted past. MacGregor then pipped Beanie Reece to second.
Austin has been the undisputed and uncatchable queen of the 85s this year, but it has been a much closer battle for second, third and fourth with Morgan, Beanie Reece and Jenkinson all proving that they are very capable and determined riders.
Race four was a double points-scoring race, so none of these riders could afford to have a DNF.
You couldn’t have predicted the start but Morgan stalled just 25 metres from the gate whilst third and fourth-placed girls in the championship, Beanie Reece and Jenkinson were both on the floor in turn one.
Meanwhile holeshot Austin and MacGregor both managed to avoid the chaos and bolted off into the distance chased by Georgia Bottriell and the top three finished in that order.
So after a season-long battle, the British Women’s Motorcross Championship has a winner in Jaysi Austin with Katie Morgan as the runner-up and Beanie Reece third
International Elite Pro-Ladies: 1 Chelsea Gowland 300pts, 2 Bethany Allison 250, 3 Marni Saunders 249, 4 Catherine King 228, 5 Charlotte Hall 221, 6 Jaymee Garrood 209, 7 Kayleigh Durston 207, 8 Georgia Potter 199, 9 Grace Bates 199, 10 Lily Moreland 179, 11 Vicky Marriott 80; Championship Overall: 1 Chelsea Gowland 1420, 2 Marni Saunders 1108, 3 Catherine King 1068, 4 Bethany Allison 1021, 5 Kayleigh Durston 979, 6 Georgie Potter 803, 7 Lily Moreland 785, 8 Jaymee Garrood 757, 9 Grace Bates 703, 10 Vicky Marriott 677, 11 Charlotte Hall 676.
National Ladies: 1 Hannah Jones 300, 2 Esme King 270, 3 Hannah Stone 244, 4 Abbie Walker 239, 5 Ash Crouch 227, 6 Terri Wallace 215; Championship overall: 1 Hannah Jones 865, 2 Hannah Stone 766, 3 Abbie Walker 760, 4 Esme King 717, 5 Ash Crouch 505, 6 Aaliyah Hulbert 403, 7 Terri Wallace 362, 8 Chloe Richards 313, 9 Caitlin Newman 227, 10 Camilla King 199, 11 Louise Powell 173.
International Youth Girls: 1 Jaysi Austin 300, 2 Amber McGregor 261, 3 Beanie Reece 241, 4 Georgia Bottriell 240, 5 Katie Morgan 227, 6 Autumn Jenkinson 220, 7 Sophie Jones 207, 8 Poppy Banning 193, 9 Ellie Davidson 191; Championship overall: 1 Jaysi Austin 1420, 2 Katie Morgan 1075, 3 Beanie Reece 1052, 4 Autumn Jenkinson 1012, 5 Poppy Banning 910.