Kaitlyn Morrow grabbed her first overall victory of the season this weekend at the eighth round of the Women's Motocross Championship (WMX), which took place this at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.
Held in conjunction with the Kawasaki Race of Champions, the Stone/Fly/Scott/Cycle Shack North Yamaha-backed Morrow went 2-1 in the two-moto format to edge out the Obermeyer Suzuki rider Mackenzie Tricker who finished 1-2.
Tricker got the jump on the field in the first moto, moving to the front of the pack shortly after the start. Meanwhile, Morrow found herself mid-pack after getting pushed wide in the first turn. Morrow quickly recovered where she found herself in the second place position by the end of the second lap.
For the next several laps Morrow set her sights on Tricker, moving to within striking distance on the final lap. "I got pretty tired halfway into the race, but with three laps to go I got my second wind and I was able to get close enough to try a pass," said Morrow.
On the final lap Morrow decided to make a last-lap effort for the win and ended up clearing a triple jump that others were straying away from. The leap put Morrow side-by-side with Tricker, but Tricker had the inside line heading into the next turn and managed to squeeze Morrow out for the win, with Morrow finishing a mere second behind her. KTM's Eve Broduer finished third with Honda-mounted Nicole Cutrera and Trader Racing's Amanda Brown finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Brown jumped out to the early lead and grabbed the holeshot in the second moto, with Tricker and Morrow running just behind her. Tricker was able to secure the lead once she took control of the inside line in a turn at the end of the first lap.
On lap two, Morrow once again used her vast skillset to her benefit when she cleared the triple again, ultimately resulting in a pass on Tricker. Tricker chased Morrow for the rest of the race, but in the end, Morrow would hold on to claim her first overall victory of the season with a 2-1 performance.
Tricker's 1-2 moto tally was good enough for second overall, while Brodeur's consistent finishes (3-4) allowed the KTM-mounted rider to round out the overall podium in third.
"This was my first overall win of the season and it feels really good," said Morrow. "I'm pretty close in points with Mackenzie so this win comes at a much needed time."
Kawasaki-mounted rider Shelby Rolen went 6-3 for fourth overall, and Brown rounded out the top five in the overall standings with a pair of fifth place moto finishes.
Missing from this weekend's race were the top two title contenders, Kylie Fasnacht and Marissa Markelon. Markelon is sitting out the rest of the season after being diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus, while Fasnacht elected to use one of her throw-away rounds to stay home and prepare to come out strong at the the final two rounds of the series.
Despite missing the event, Fasnacht still maintains the lead in the series standings with 333 points, followed by Markelon with 297 and Morrow with 289. The National Championship still remains anyone's game as the 2016 WMX series moves to Budds Creek Raceway in Mechanicsville, Maryland this Sunday, October 9, for the penultimate round.
Kaitlyn Morrow (YAM) 2-1
Mackenzie Tricker (SUZ) 1-2
Eve Brodeur (KTM) 3-4
Shelby Rolen (KAW) 6-3
Amanda Brown (KAW) 5-5
Nicole Cutrera (HON) 4-7
Lauren Woods (HON) 7-6
Grace Payne (YAM) 8-8
Nicole Gaudern (KAW) 9-9
Kylie Fasnacht (333)
Marissa Markelon (297)
Kaitlyn Morrow (289)
Mackenzie Tricker (256)
Eve Brodeur (247)
Amanda Brown (225)
Shelby Rolen (197)
Lauren Woods (177)
Nicole Gaudern (154)
Grace Payne (139)