Laier was consistent throughout the day qualifying third fastest in both timed practice sessions. Her 3rd place qualifying times earned her the third gate pick at the start of moto number one.
When the gate dropped, Laier got off to a decent start rounding the first turn in 5th place. She quickly caught and passed two of the riders to place her KTM 250 SX-F into a podium position. She maintained the 3rd place spot through the end of the moto.
In the second moto she got off to a much better start and rounded the first corner in 2nd position. When the leader, Jessica Patterson, went down early, Laier was able to move into the lead. Laier led the remainder of the first lap. She continued to lead for the next lap while excited fans cheered on the three-way battle between Laier, Patterson and Ashley Fiolek.
Laier made a mistake at the halfway point of the moto and came too far outside off a jump and lost her position to Patterson and later to Fiolek. She fell back to 3rd but remained strong to the end of the race and was able to finish 3rd overall for the day.
“It feels good to be back in the U.S. This is the first time I have raced Hangtown in about ten years. The track was very rough today and my arm gave me a little trouble at the end of the moto from a practice crash injury earlier in the week. Overall I was glad to get on the podium here and will now return to Europe to pursue the Women’s MXGP Championship,” commented Laier.
Overall Results –
1) Jessica Patterson – 1,1
2) Ashley Fiolek – 2,2
3) Steffi Laier – 3,3 (KTM)
4) Tarah Gieger – 4,7
5) Jacqueline Strong – 7,5 (KTM)
6) Tatum Sik – 8,6
7) Mariana Balbi – 13,4
8) Kasie Creson – 10.8
9) Sayaka Kaneshiro – 9,10
10) Elizabeth Bash – 14,9 (KTM)