Ashley Fiolek — 2011 Women’s Motocross Champ!

Circa 2011

I start racing in May and by the middle of September I’m finished. So now that the season has recently ended, I’m in time-off mode!

I had some ups and downs this year. One of the downs occurred during the X Games in August. Though I spent most of July training for them, I had a bad crash in practice, and was knocked out for over 10 seconds.

The administrators of the games have a rule that if you are knocked out for more than 10 seconds, they won’t let you race. I was so upset that I was down in the infirmary, trying to convince doctors and my team manager that I really hadn’t been knocked out. But they didn’t go for that one!

I finally had to accept that I couldn’t race, and went to the games anyway to cheer on the other women competitors. It was so hard to sit in the stands, just watching. There I was: no crutches, nothing in a cast, no arm in a sling, just sitting there. It didn’t seem fair.

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The racing was good, though, and the girls put on a great show. My fellow WMX racer, Vicki Golden, won the gold medal, and needless to say she was extremely happy! I can’t wait to come back next year to try for another gold myself.

In terms of my ups, my WMX (women’s motocross) season went well. I had won two championships in 2008 and 2009, only to lose in 2010. I had been depressed about it, and all I wanted this year was to win the championship back!

A winning season requires a solid foundation: I worked with Redbull this year and changed my whole off-thebike training program. Bored with my standard exercise routine, I tried CrossFit, a core strength-and-conditioning program, which really improved my training. That exercise program always varies, so every day I look forward to working out. I also started riding a lot more, which definitely helps.

My efforts paid off. In my most recent race—the last of the season—I was 22 points ahead in the series at the last round. I was happy to have that big of a lead, but with motocross you never know what will happen! Fortunately, American Honda puts me out on the track in the best equipment.

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So I went out in my first moto and got second place. During that event, I was just trying to be safe and stay ahead in the points. In the second moto, however, I was nervous, and didn’t want to make any mistakes. Besides, I just wanted the long season to be over! I got third place in that event,which meant coming in third overall in the last race.

Fortunately, races are not just measured by wins alone, but also by points. And my combined-point total was still 14 points ahead of the next competitor, enough for the championship win. I was thrilled!

The long season paid off, and I will once again get to race with the number-one plate! It’s been a long and exciting year, and after some time off for r and r, I look forward to coming back strong next year.

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