Round two of the women’s IMBA was held at Norley in Cheshire on Sunday. The UK’s fastest females took to the start gate for the AMCA’s home meeting and were supported by the sidecar IMBA teams. There was junior, senior and expert club racing to complete an action-packed day.
The women’s team race consisted of twenty-seven women from all over Europe, battling it out to get on the podium. The British team consisted of Chelsea Gowland, Leonii Tighe, Charlotte Hall, Eleanor Calby, Georgia Ithill, Taylor Scott, Marnie Leigh-Saunders, Kayleigh Durston, Cartherine King and Jaymee Garrood.
Heading into qualifying, Team GB looked super smooth. The aggressive Yamaha of Brenda Wagemans (Team Belgium) was hot on Gowland’s tail, but she managed to put her Redline Honda on pole with Brenda right behind her. There was a tenth of a second between the pair. The rest of the British team also impressed, as they all slotted into the top fifteen. A great start!
Gowland grabbed the holeshot in the first moto, but made a slight mistake in the next couple of laps and dropped some places. That allowed the Belgian rider, Brenda, to go through and start to pull an impressive lead. In the meantime, Tighe pushed her way through to fourth with Chelsea charging behind her. In the final few laps Tighe managed to secure a fantastic sixth place. Brenda took the race-one win, with Demi Verploegh in second and Lianne Muilwijk in third.
Lining up for the start of race two, Brenda claimed the gold shirt (IMBA leader) that seemed to give her the confidence to put in a fantastic start and push her way up the inside of Gowland in the first three corners. Gowland was still on the charge with Brenda, Gowland and Lianne Muilwijk pulling a sizeable gap on the rest of the field. The rest of Team GB were on the pace behind them with Charlotte Hall finishing a fantastic sixth place, Leonni Tighe in eighth, Catherine King in fourteenth, Taylor Scott in seventeenth, Marnie Saunders eighteenth, Kayleigh Durston in twenty-first, Georgia ithell in twenty-second, Eleanor Calby in twenty-fifth and Jayme Garrood in twenty-seventh.
Heading into race three the seventeen-year-old Passion Racing rider, Leonni Tighe, pulled her first holeshot of the day and led for the first few corners with a couple of the Belgian girls hot on her tail. Unfortunately race three was red flagged after nine minutes due to a fallen rider at the back of the circuit; the race was not restarted and thus everyone’s finishing positions for the day were determined.
“Today was simply amazing,” Leonni told MX Vice exclusively. “I was excited, but still pretty nervous going into my home round of the women’s IMBA. I had so many friends and family come out to support me and I wanted to redeem myself after a poor first round in Switzerland. I am really happy with the way that I rode and I want to build on this momentum going into the final part of the season. I currently sit in third place in the BWMA Championship behind Chelsea Gowland and Aimee Goodlad. The competition is tough this year, but we are all benefitting from that. On a final note I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of the people supporting me this year. I could not do it without you.“
It was a fantastic home round show put on by Team GB and the European girls. There is no doubt that the next round in Beringen, Belgium, will not disappoint either.
Words: Sophie Mcginn | Lead Image: AMCA Events