Words by Jackie Riess
Photos by James Lissimore
This weekend the ladies took to the rainy sands of Gopher Dunes for Round 2 of the Thor WMX series. In a battle against visibility and adversity; consistency and minimizing mistakes were the names of the game. Though these skills were important to race craft, series leader, Eve Brodeur, was able to overcome mistakes in both motos to go 1-1 for the overall win at Round 2. Sarah-Kim Villeneuve started the day on a positive note with the fastest qualifying time and a holeshot in moto 1. She went on to lead laps in both motos, and finished 2-2 for second overall on the day. Rounding out the podium was Ani Ferguson with 3-4 finishes. Great starts, smooth line choices, and consistency helped her to her third-place finish.
Villeneuve got out to the early lead in moto 1 with Brodeur in second. Brodeur attributed her poor start to being in neutral when the gate dropped. I guess even multi-time champions make mistakes! Despite the setback, Brodeur was able to catch and pass Villeneuve by the second lap. Brodeur was then able to pull away, and the two created a sizable gap over third-place rider Oriana Fraser. Fraser was able to hold on to 3rd and 4th for most of the moto, but finished in 8th after a mistake on lap 6. Ferguson was able to capitalize and got into a good flow on her two-stroke to hold third for the remainder of the race. As the leaders made their way into lapped traffic, they had to make smart decisions, but leader Eve Brodeur almost went down with one racer and had an off-track excursion with another. She was able to hang on to win the moto with Villeneuve, Ferguson, Greenlaw, and Orbanski rounding out the top five in moto 1.
Moto 2 saw the return of Brodeur, Villeneuve, and Garant to the front of the pack early. Garant held on to second off the start, but Villeneuve was able to make the pass on her on lap 1. Though the battle for the podium was exciting, the battle for fourth was one to watch. Ferguson, Fraser, Greenlaw, and Orbanski were all vying for that fourth-place position, but it was Ferguson who was able to finish the moto in this position. On lap 2, Brodeur fell before the rollers, shuffling her back to about fifth place and leaving Villeneuve to hold the lead for multiple laps. Brodeur was able to make her way back into second by the end of the lap, and by lap 5 you could see her setting up her pass on Villeneuve. After making the pass, she was able to gap second and create a 12-second gap by the end of the moto. Villeneuve held on to second, both in moto 2 and overall for the day. Garant had a quiet race in third, but 9-3 moto scores would place her in 5th overall at round 2. Ferguson’s 3-4 finishes landed her on her first podium of the season, and Greenlaw’s 4-5 finishes placed her just off the box in 4th. Orbanski (6), Fraser (7), Facciotti (8), Rose (9), and Megan Hamm (10) rounded out the top ten overall at Round 2.
The ladies move on to Sand Del Lee this weekend for Round 3 of the Thor WMX series. Join them live in person (25% spectator capacity) or online at FloRacing.