Ashley Fiolek Wins Third Women’s Crown, Justin Barcia Third at 2011 Pala National MX
The final Motocross National of the season held at Southern California’s Pala Raceway in Pala, CA, saw the Honda Red Riders put in some of their best performances of the season on their Honda CRF250R and CRF450R race machines. American Honda Racing’s Ashley Fiolek wrapped up her third WMX title, while her teammate Justin Barcia finished third in the 450 class.
After winning back-to-back Women’s titles in 2008 and 2009, and finishing runner-up in the WMX series in 2010, Fiolek headed into the 2011 Motocross season determined to reclaim the crown. From the get-go, Fiolek demonstrated incredible speed on her CRF250R, winning five motos in the eight-round series and clinching three overall victories en route to the championship crown. Tarah Gieger raced her Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda-prepared CRF250R to third overall in the series while fellow Honda riders Kasie Creson and Lindsey Palmer finished the season in seventh and 10th, respectively.
“I am so happy to win back the Women’s title,” said Fiolek. “It was tough giving it up last year, so I was determined to do everything I needed to do to win it back this season. All the women racers rode exceptionally well, and we had some great battles. I knew consistency was going to be the key to winning the championship back, and that’s what I was all season, consistently on the podium each week. I’m really happy to put Honda on top again for another year.”
Barcia completed his fill-in ride with the factory Honda team at Pala by putting in two impressive rides at the Motocross grand finale. Barcia was a strong contender for the moto one win, running up front for the majority of the race before finishing in third. In the second moto, Barcia got a great start and took over the lead from Chad Reed on lap seven. Maintaining incredible speed out front, he led the next eight laps before surrendering a spot with two laps to go. Barcia’s stellar 3-2 result earned him third overall for the round.
“I’m really happy with my results this weekend,” said Barcia. “I have learned so much about myself as a racer and about riding, which I know has made me a much smarter rider. It’s been awesome working with the factory Honda team, and I can’t thank GEICO Honda enough for allowing me to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”
TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed put in solid performances aboard his American Honda Racing-prepared CRF450R, finishing moto one in 12th and nabbing fourth in the second moto for seventh overall. Reed led the championship for half the season and finished the championship in third–an impressive first season for the TwoTwo Motorsports team.
In the 250 class, GEICO Honda rookie Justin Bogle finished his fourth race as a professional on a high note. After finishing moto one in 10th place, Bogle got a great start in moto two, leading the opening 10 laps of the race before finishing in second place and earning a season-best fifth overall. GEICO Honda teammate Eli Tomac went 7-11 for ninth overall, while Honda rider Alex Martin rounded out 10th place. Tomac finished fourth overall in the championship, while Martin nabbed eighth place. Fellow Honda racer Darryn Durham finished the season in 10th.