Motocross

Marissa Markelon takes WMX lead after New Jersey win – MacKenzie Tricker drops to second

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Marissa Markelon took a huge win at round six of the AMA Women's Motocross Championship (WMX) at KROC Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, over the weekend, held in conjunction with the 38th Annual Kawasaki Team Green Race of Champions.

Championshipo leader going into the round Motorcycle-Superstore/Yamaha's MacKenzie Tricker missed her second-straight race after suffering an injury to her elbow with a small tip over at a local race while in Australia. Tricker had surgery three-and-a-half weeks before the New Jersey race and just got her cast cut off the week before the race.

Markelon went 1-1 over the course of the two motos on her New Haven Motorsport-backed Kawasaki, topping round-five winner Kylie Fasnacht in each of the two races.

Rain showers on Saturday left the Englishtown course a bit soggy during morning practice on Sunday. However, by the end of the day the track was rock-hard and dry, with plenty of deep ruts had hard-edged bumps for the riders to contend with.

In moto one, Markelon was third out for the gate, but the Connecticut rider was into the lead by turn two and pulling away, although playing it safe to a certain degree.

"I was a little nervous in that first race," said Markelon. "I didn't want to make the same mistakes I made at the Baja Brawl, so I just wanted to make sure I kept it on two wheels and rode a steady race."

Markelon did indeed ride a steady race, and plenty fast enough to take the win over the hard-charging Fasnacht, who was still carrying momentum from her win in Michigan.

Honda rider Jacqueline Strong rounded out the first moto podium with a solid third, with Nicole Cutrera (Hon) and Shelby Rolen (Kaw) finishing fourth and fifth.

Fasnacht came out swinging in moto two, and led the first four laps of the race with Markelon in hot pursuit. On lap five, however, Fasnacht bobbled and then got cross-rutted in a deep rut, giving Markelon just the break she needed to take the lead.

From there, it was an easy ride to the finish for Markelon, who claimed her first win of the season with a 1-1 tally.

Fasnacht held on to take second, with Strong, Rolen and Cutrera rounding out the top five.

On the other hand, Markelon's win and early season consistency leaves her with a 43-point lead in the series standings with two rounds remaining, plus two throw-out rounds to be calculated.

"I'm feeling a different kind of pressure now that I have the points lead," said Markelon. "Things will be close after the throw out rounds are factored in and I just have to stay calm and ride steady at these last two races."

Tricker, in the meantime, will be returning to the USA this week and will be focusing on the last two rounds in an effort to fight to win the WMX championship.

The 2014 WMX Championship will resume on Saturday, Oct. 19 in Blountville, Tennessee as part of the Top Gun Showdown at Muddy Creek Raceway.

New Jersey Results
1. Marissa Markelon (Kaw)
2. Kylie M. Fasnacht (Suz)
3. Jacqueline Strong (Hon)
4. Shelby Rolen (Kaw)
5. Nicole Cutrera (Hon)
6. Amanda Brown (Hon)
7. Eve Brodeur (KTM)
8. Madison Seguin (KTM)
9. Nicole M. Voorhees (KTM)
10. Madison Lindeman (Yam)

WMX Championship Standings
1. Marissa Markelon (240)
2. Mackenzie Tricker (197)
3. Kylie Fasnacht (168)
4. Shelby Rolen (138)
5. Amber Felicio (128)
6. Amanda Brown (99)
7. Glad Limbaugh (97)
8. Taylor Higgins (80)
9. Amanda Sokalski (69)
10. Christel Allen (68)

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