Western Australian Jessica Moore stunned the crowds at Coolum, racing to a 2016 Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Australian Women’s Motocross Championship.
Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge proved early on Saturday morning that she was one of the women to watch throughout the weekend, posting the fastest time during qualifying with a 1:49.055 lap time. KTM’s Moore was second quickest on track (1:50.598) followed by defending Women’s champion DPH Motorsport’s Maddy Brown.
In race one, it was Honda mounted Steph Cutler who secured the first MXstore holeshot, but before long, Brown demanded control of the race, and was followed closely by fastest qualifier Rutledge.
After only two laps, Brown and Rutledge separated themselves from the rest of the field, and shortly after, fans were treated to a fully fledged battle for the race lead.
On lap six Rutledge went down in a turn, dashing her hopes of a race one victory and from there, DPH Motorsport’s Brown breezed to victory. Second place in moto one was taken by Moore, followed by Yamaha’s Tayla Jones in third. Milesevic wrapped up race one in fourth, followed by Toowoomba rider Sarah Guthrie in fifth.
In race two, once again it was Brown who launched in to the race lead, but much like moto one, it took no time at all for Rutledge to find the DPH Motorsport riders rear wheel, setting up race two as the ultimate dash to the finish line.
Brown and Rutledge went down whilst battling for the lead, forcing the pair to have to chase down the field. With Brown and Rutledge out of the equation, KTM rider Moore inherited the top position, followed by Milesevic in second, and Jones in third.
Despite a late charge from Brown, it was in those positions that the ladies finished in moto two on Saturday, Moore securing her first race win of the weekend, followed by Milesevic in second, and Jones in third. Brown crossed the line in fourth position, followed by rival Rutledge (Kawasaki) in fifth.
When racing kicked off on Sunday DPH Motorsport’s Brown jump out of the gate and into the lead in race one, however, Rutledge made her move to the front after only a few turns.
With Rutledge and Brown out in front, fans switched their attention to the positions behind them, and with Saturday’s race two winner Moore on a charge, it took no time at all for the KTM rider to make the pass on Yamaha’s Jones to slot up to third position.
As race three reached it’s closing stages there had been no change to the race order, and when the chequered flag flew, it was Rutledge who took her first race win for the weekend in moto three, followed by defending champion Brown in second and Moore in third. Jones wrapped up race three in fourth, followed by Guthrie in fifth.
When the Women lined up for their final race of the weekend, riders were racing for a title, with this year’s Australian champion set to be crowned at the conclusion of the final 15-minute moto, and when gates dropped it was Moore who took the final holeshot, but after one lap, Yamaha mounted Milesevic had snatched up the race lead.
After two laps, Rutledge closed in and made a pass on Milesevic to move in to the number one position, while Moore dropped back to third place, followed by Yamaha’s Jones. A notable absentee from the front of the field was Brown who was back in sixth position.
With the track getting rougher and rougher with every lap, the ladies once again had their work cut out for them in the final race of the weekend, but Brown began to make a positions, and by lap five, the defending champ was back up to fourth. And with a 2016 title on her mind, Brown also made the pass on Moore, putting her and her DPH Motorsport’s Yamaha machine in to the final podium position.
As race four reached its final stages, positions looked as if they had all been decided, however, in a huge turn of events, when the chequered flag was displayed, Brown slowed down prematurely, allowing Moore to snatch back third position on the line, costing Brown the 2016 Australian Championship.
The win in the final race of the day was taken by Rutledge, while Milesevic crossed the finish line for the final time in second position.
Thankfully for Moore, third in race four was all that was required to secure a 2016 Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Australian Women’s Championship, second spot on the podium was awarded to DPH Motorsport’s Brown, followed by Kawasaki’s Rutledge in third.
Jessica Moore – KTM Australia – 2016 Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Australian Women’s Motocross Champion
“I’m absolutely speechless. My whole life, I’ve lived in the shadows of those other girls and being from WA, we sort of get forgotten being so far over the other side of the country,” Moore shared.
“It’s been four years since I’ve raced a Women’s National just because of injuries and stuff like that, so to take it out today is unbelievable.
“The way we did it in that last race – I pumped up, and I was so far back, and I saw that Maddy shut off early and I just went for it and took it across the line.
“If it wasn’t for a couple of guys and Jeff Leisk I wouldn’t have been racing this year so I’m so glad we did it, and I can’t thank them enough.”
2016 YMI Australian Women’s Championship results:
1) Jessica Moore – 127 points
2) Maddy Brown – 123 points
3) Meghan Rutledge – 119 points
4) Emma Milesevic – 116 points
5) Tayla Jones – 114 points
6) Dannielle Foot – 100 points
7) Sarah Guthrie – 100 points
8) Jessica Gardiner – 91 points
9) Courtney Whyte-Dennis – 86 points
10) Chelsea Blakers – 79 points