Motocross

Rampaging Rutledge rules the 2011 Motul Pirelli Australian Womens Motocross Championship

Author: Mat Cox

Posted:

Moss Institute Monster Kawasaki rider Meghan Rutledge rode amazing in the mud with a clean sweep of all five races to take out her first ever Australian Womens MX Championship in her first year of senior competition.
Meghan Rutledge took all the moto wins to take the championship in her first attempt. Photo: Mat Cox
The 2011 Motul Pirelli Australian Womens Motocross Championship was held at the Coolum Pines Motocross circuit with heavy overnight and morning rain turning the usual deep loamy surface into a black murky swamp.

The rain eased into showers which came and went throughout the day but once the track broke through the top surface after practice it began to become sloppy as more laps were put down by the riders.

Sixteen year old Rutledge was full of smiles after her dominating performance in her final race "I am stoked, it's my first year of seniors so it's such a big thing for me. It's been my aim all year to get this championship and I am so proud I could accomplish it," an excited Rutledge explained.

"A huge thanks to my mechanic Ben, TC and the rest of the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for supporting me. Also Moss Institute Coaching, without Greg there's no way I would have been up here," she added.

2010 Australian Womens Champion, GMR Motorex KTM's Kristy Gillespie fought hard and cemented a solid second place position overall.

"It feels good to get second place overall, I knew it was going to be tough coming in to back up my championship, my goal was to podium as I knew Meg would be lighting fast so I am pretty stoked with second," stated a cheerful Gillespie.

"The track was tough, it came good for a little bit around the second and third moto but as it dried out more it just got harder as the ruts went everywhere and were knee deep in spots," she concluded.

Honda Australia BCP rider Jess Moore Battled her way to fill the final podium position overall.

"I am really happy to be on the podium, I finished fifth last year and now a third this year, so hopefully next year I can win a Championship," said Moore after her final moto.

Former Champion and last year's runner up Tori Dare took Fourth Overall which some hard charging riding in the sloppy conditions.

"I couldn't keep pace with the top girls, I was just to unfit but I am happy with my results. I didn't like the track at all but it got better later in the day, I just couldn't hang on in the late stages of the race," a satisfied Dare explained.
The girls raced in insane conditions.
Race one saw Rutledge with the hole shot with QLD Yamaha's Courtney Knight, Kristie Gillespie and Bikebiz Yamaha rider Tori Dare in behind. Rutledge quickly opened up a gap as Knight pushed hard to keep her pace. Mid race Gillespie made her move on Knight for second position but Rutledge had already opened up a commanding lead. Jess Moore moved past Dare for fourth position in the late stages of the race. Rutledge took a comfortable win from Gillespie, Knight, Moore and Dare. Yamaha QLD rider Tamara Gray rode well with a credible sixth, BLS suspension rider Charlotte Bolding just beating home Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Letitia Alabaster.

Rutledge again took the holeshot in race two with New Zealand's Kimberly Murphy on her Rockstar Motul Suzuki in pursuit. Knight, Moore and Gillespie sat in behind with Gillespie applying early pressure to Moore making the pass then clawing back Knight and moving up into the third position. Murphy went down in the deep mud and dropped well back in the field. Dare suffered from a bad start and went down twice early on in the moto but rode a great race to get back to sixth position. Rutledge with over a minute lead took the win from Gillespie, Moore, Knight, Alabaster, Dare and Flinders MC Rider Steph Cutler who rode a solid race taking seventh position. Gray was unfortunately injured and didn't participate in the remaining races.
2010 champ Kristie Gillespie congratulates 2011 Champ Meghan Rutledge. Photo: Mat Cox
Race three once again saw Rutledge with the hole shot, with Murphy, knight, Gillespie, Alabaster and Moore in pursuit. Dare had a mishap in the first lap and once again forced herself to have to fight through the pack. Gillespie quickly moved into the second position moving past Murphy and Knight. Moore was all over the back of Knight and managed to get herself into third position. Bolding with a good start was in battle with Knight and had a charging Dare to contend to. Dare made some great moves putting herself into fifth position. Bolding moved into sixth and Peter Stevens MC rider Maddison Brown moved up into the seventh spot. Rutledge however was untouchable with another big win over Gillespie, Murphy, Moore and Dare.

The race four and five format saw the riders having to do two back to back fifteen minute races with a five minute break between. Murphy and Rutledge went side by side around corner one on the first gate drop, with Murphy taking the lead up the first straight. Rutledge quickly moved into the lead in the back section with Murphy holding onto second. Dare made a pass on Gillespie for third and the two went back and forward for a few laps until Gillespie found her groove and made moves on both Dare and Murphy taking second position. Moore and Alabaster battled hard for fifth but when Moore finally got an advantage she went down. Quickly remounting Moore put a great charge on, re-passing Alabaster. Knight with a bad start moved through to the field up to seventh right behind Bolding in sixth. Rutledge crossed the line with the win leaving the field with five minutes to get themselves back to the starting gate for the back to back race. Macca Racing's Kayla McClelland came across the finish line in eight position just ahead of Instant Security systems, LKI rider Bianca Whyte.

Riders scrambled around prepping gates, drinking fluids and grabbing a fresh set of goggles ready for the final race of the day for the Championship class. Rutledge had a 12 point gap on Gillespie but with the mud slop on the track anything was possible.

The gates went down and Rutledge scored another hole shot with Yamaha girls Knight and Dare in second and third. Dare quickly assumed second position and Moore moved into third. Murphy sat in fifth but went down losing a bunch of positions. Knight, Alabaster and Gillespie had a great battle going on but Gillespie showed her years of racing experience moving past the pair into the number four position. Dare made a mistake losing second and third to Moor and Gillespie then had to hold off a charging Knight right to the line to take fifth. However it was Rutledge who had dominated every race and wrapped up her first Australian Championship with Jess Moore crossing the line in second ahead of Gillespie and Alabaster. McClelland took a well-earned seventh position in front of Whyte, Cutler and Ringmaster's Courtney Whyte-Denis.

The Junior Lites female support class was dominated by Yamaha Junior Race Teams Mackenzie Tricker who clean sweeped the class.

"It feels good to get the win today, I just did what I had to do out there," an excited Tricker stated. "I'm really looking forward to the Australian Junior Titles where hopefully I can claim my first Junior MX title for my team and the rest of my sponsors".

Sutto's rider Tayla Jones placed second in all four of the races. Third place however was very tight with Instant Security Racing, KTM Brisbane's Alexa Whyte trading positions with Motorcycle Country's Codie Winston and Harbour City MC rider Krystal Sowten. Whyte and Winston finished equal on points but Whyte's third place in the final moto gave her the third overall from Winston. Sidnee Crawford and TNJ MX schools, Steve Gittoes Plumbing sponsored rider Ashley Gittoes rode well.

Dirt Dolls rider Caprice Russell took out the Senior Womens Support class ahead of Yamaha mounted Karissa Jones. Jones was able to take the race one victory but was unable to match the speed of Russell. Bayside Yamahas Chelsea gray took third from Adelaide Curbing, Phil White Electrical sponsored rider Sarah White.

After second place in the Junior lites class Tayla Jones took out the Junior girls 85/150cc 12-16yrs support class ahead of Codie Winston and Pro Powder Powdercoating's Bailey Sanders. Sunshine Coast Hose & Fittings rider Emily McNaulty took out fourth position overall.

The Junior girls 85cc/150cc 9-12 support class was won by Caboulture MC rider Chelsea Carter ahead of Triple R MC rider Taylah Haidley. With the Extremely tough conditions these girls did an amazing job to make it around the track.

Full Results are available at www.Orion-timing.com

Main Photo: Megan Rutledge took the title in her first senior year.
Photo: Mat Cox


WMX Championship Class
1 Meghan Rutledge
2 Kristie Gillespie
3 Jess Moore

Womens Lites Support
1 Caprice Russell
2 Karissa Jones
3 Chelsea Gray

Junior Girls Lite Support
1 Mackenzie Tricker
2 Tayla Jones
3 Alexa Whyte

Junior Girls 85cc/150cc 12-u16 Support
1 Tayla Jones
2 Codie Winston
3 Bailey Sanders

Junior Girls 85cc/150cc 9-u12 Support
1 Chelsea Carter
2 Taylah Haidley

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