Lier – Sevlievo in Bulgaria is where the Women’s MX World Championship starts. The WMX World championship calendar expanded from 5 to 7 GP’s this year, a sign of the championship’s ever increasing importance. This year Elien Dewinter, Belgium’s leading lady motocross lady and 8th in last year’s WMX World Championship, flies the flag for LS Motors.
In Bulgaria LS Motors welcomes the ever enthusiast American Ashley Fiolek. Ashley will defend the LS Motors colors during a few selected rounds of this year’s WMX World championship. Last year Ashley clinched her first podium in Sevlievo and ended 6th in the WMX’s final standings despite missing one GP. Just like Elien, Ashley oozes with professionalism and stamina. LS Motors-Honda is very proud of fielding this duo that combines speed, charm and personality. Both Elien and Ashley ride a Honda CRF250R. Their main competition will come from reigning World champion Livia Lancelot, strong German girls Stephanie Laier, Maria Franke and Larissa Papenmeier. Peurtorican Tarah Geiger, the first every woman to compete in the Motocross of Nations, will also be behind the starting gate in Sevlievo.
Elien will start in Sevlievo with some doubts. Only a couple of weeks ago she severely injured her back and pelvis. The 19-year old university student (physiotherapy) recovered faster than she initially expected. The last few seasons Elien proved that she has a very good riding technique, as well as a lot of character. What’s more is that Elien also turned out to be a very good ambassador who’s PR skills are second to none when it comes to selling our sport to the general public. Apart from the WMX World championships Elien will also do some Women races in France and Germany.
On her injury
“It really is a small miracle that I will be able to ride in Bulgaria. Nobody had thought I would. I have not only suffered a broken vertebra but also a cracked coccyx and as well as a dislocated pelvis. That last one is a very nasty injury because you can’t do anything but rest. You literally can’t do anything for 10 days. In order to put as little strain as possible on the pelvis you have to constantly switch between laying down, stand up and sit. It was quite an ordeal for me to stay at home for 10 days!
What she expects from the Bulgarian GP
“Given the circumstances I have no expectations at all. My entire preparation went completely through the window because of that crash. I didn’t do anything apart from aqua jogging, cycling on rolls and some daily rehab exercises. The ultimate test was a mountainbike ride on Sunday. If that didn’t go well riding my CRF250R would have been completely out of the question. The pain was okay during the cycling but when I stopped the pain came back. My first ride on the motorcycle went all right as well. But I don’t expect things to be easy this weekend.”
“I was definitely on the right track until I had my crash. I had adapted easily to both the Honda and the team. In January I had done a two week training course in Spain at Harry Everts’ MX School. Afterwards I went to France for another training week with LS Motors Honda. I was really pumped about the new season, but injuries never come at the right moment!”
After 13 youth motocross titles, 2008 was Fiolek’s breakthrough year. She impressed a lot of people in Europa and dominated the WMA (American Women’s motocross championshp) in her very first season. These accomplishments earned her a slot in the Red Bull-Honda factory team. Not bad at all when you’re only 18 and it gets even more impressive when you know that Ashley has been deaf since her birth. Despite everything, it never prevented her from chasing her dream and living a normal life. Ashley’s inspiring successes are also proof of her family’s commitments. Father Jim is her trainer and coach, mother Roni takes care of all the paperwork and media requests and her 4 year old brother is her biggest fan. Ashley’s column in Transworld Motocross Magazine proves she also is an avid writer. And that’s just what she did here below, because she is just as fast with a keyboard as with her Honda CRF250R!
On her physical condition
Well I have been training and riding the same as I normally do in the time inbetween racing! I have also taken some time off and did some fun things too, but I am really looking forward to getting back behind the gate and racing with all of the girls again! ! Ashley’s WMX calendar I am not sure yet which ones I will be doing yet, I know for sure Bulgaria and Portugual but after that there are some conflicts with the US races so I have to try and figure that all out. I wish I could do them all :-)
! Swapping her underdog position from last year to being the WMA’s number one. Well of course I want to try and do the best that I can again this year. I really enjoy just coming over here and learning about different cultures and racing with different girls it is just a really fun experience! Winning the WMA title was definitely a huge thing for me but because I won't be able to attend all of the GP's it will be hard to do as well as I would like, so I will just try my best and have fun doing it!
Comparing the WMX level to the States
It is hard to compare the level because last year I had never raced with most of the girls in Europe or been to any of the tracks so it was all kind of new...and I had raced with the WMA girls back in the US. This year should be interesting in both series, I am really looking forward to it!
About the Sevlievo track
Oh I really like the track..it is an awesome MX track and I am so excited to be coming back here to ride again!
On being part of the Honda/Red Bull factory team
Yes, making the Honda/Red Bull factory team here in the US is huge for girls! I couldn't be happier and I think it will open a lot of doors for the women racers over here. I was a full-time pro at the beginning of last year so that will continue now through my upcoming seasons. I haven't really had a chance to ride with the factory riders yet over here because they are in the middle of their supercross season and are focused on that right now, so I will have to wait until they are finished. They are also all on 450's and I am on a 250 :-). I think the biggest difference is just knowing I have a team to support and stand by me and to help improve the quality of racing for women! It is a great feeling to know that you have a team as strong as the Honda/ Red Bull team behind you!
Blij om terug te zien
Livia and I kept in touch and she even came here to Florida and we hung out and rode together, we had a blast and she learned some sign! I can't wait to catch up with ‘Livy’ again and see how much she remembers! I also#kept in touch with the LS teams...daughters and I can't wait to see them again too! I really can't wait to see everyone again and to ride the awesome tracks! I will probably miss my mom, brother and mechanic the most when I am in Europe but I know I will see them again soon!
April 5 2009 Bulgary Sevlievo
May 10 2009 Portugal Agueda
May 17 2009 Spain Bellpuig
June 7 2009 France Ernee
June 21 2009 Germany Teutschenthal
July 5 2009 Sweden Uddevalla
August 30 2009 Netherlands Lierop
WMX Free Practice 9:00-9:30
WMX Time Practice 12:00-12:30
WMX Race 1 18:00
WMX Warm Up 8:45-9:05
WMX Race 2 11:15
Motors TV: WMX Race 2 LIVE on Sunday April 10:00 www.freecaster.tv