Women%uFFFDs Super X Motocross at X Games 15 in Los Angeles, CA

All Photos by Kathleen Gasperini

In its second year, Women’s Moto X Super X continued to gather even more attention as one of the most exciting events to watch at the Summer X Games July 30-August 2 in Los Angeles, CA. On a slick course that was half shaded due to the timing of the event towards the end of the day, it wasn’t an easy race by any means. The course included several jumps that required sheer nerve to clear, say nothing about the tight course and other obstacles. But without any hesitation, the women raced fast and pulled freestyle moves off several jumps along the course, instigating discussion about if there should be a Women’s Freestyle Moto X event in the future.

Jessica Patterson, the favorite in the field and bronze medalist from last year pushed hard in the lead, but just towards the end rookie Ashley Fiolek skirted her way on an inside corner and then passed Jessica when Jessica decided to jump the finish line instead of keeping a lower profile. This was just enough time for Ashley to pull into the lead and eventually, come through first at the checkered flag. Fans erupted with emotion as Ashley jumped off her bike and was mobbed by her support team including her parents.

The first corner can turn into a cluster.

Another rookie Elizabeth Bash claimed the bronze after a consistently fast run. As she said in the press conference, “I just can’t believe I’m here. This is the best day ever.”

Ashley Fiolek explained through her father’s interpretation, signing as fast as possible as she tried to contain her excitement in expressing how stoked she was to win the gold medal. Ashley is the first hearing impaired medalist in X Games history and was recently nominated for an ESPY award for Best Female Sports Athlete. “It was very fast out there and all of the girls were great. I had to stay with Jessica and then I saw that I could pass and went for it. I can’t believe I have the gold. Having women’s motocross in the X Games is so good for our sport. It will give us more exposure and hopefully more races.”

Gold medalist in Womens Super MotoX Ashley Fiolek signs fast in her excitement to relate winning.

Jessica concurred, saying that having women’s motocross in the X Games will help the sport for years to come. “It’s huge for us that the X Games have included women’s motocross. Maybe we can have SuperMoto next.”

Motocross is one of the fast-rising sports that young women “most want to learn” according to fresh data from our North American Youth Culture Study. As we’ve seen over the years, it’s a sport that generates a lot of family interest as well because it usually takes parents to help get their kids into such a sport based on costs, transportation, and other factors. Interestingly, in the first-ever Action Sports Conference held July 30 at the X Games, Label Networks presented data on this topic and other sports that are growing among young men and women especially. As moderator of a panel on the growth of action sports, motocross became one of the hot topics.

Bronze medalist Elizabeth Bash and Silver medalist Jessica Patterson

Miki Vuckovich, director of the Tony Hawk Foundation, said that in skateboarding, women are the future of the sport. His point at the Action Sports Conference was that if currently 25% of skaters are female, then it could and should be 50% meaning there’s an obvious 25% potential for growth. Motocross, while not yet at the 25% mark, has increased dramatically in our research, indicating a strong new market opportunity for brands, sponsors, and events. This was backed by additional data and information from another panelist, Tim Buche, the President of the Motorcycle Industry Council.

Having women’s motocross in the X Games has helped raise the profile of the sport and it’s potential to young women worldwide, especially as people are now seeing the incredible skills that these women have -including mixing it up with freestyle moves and massive big airs as many opted to jump the finish line or twist it up with tailwhips on various sections of the course.

Woman motoX rider gets big air off the SuperCross kicker. Looks like she%uFFFDs blending into the crowd but you can see the guy below looking up at her.

Women’s motocross, like men’s motocross and many other motor sports, often involves many sponsors, with logos worn brazenly in colorful uniforms. So for example while skaters may have several sponsors, you don’t always know who they are other than perhaps the logo on their T-shirt or their shoes. In motocross, the fashion is the colorful sponsors’ logos, names, and patterns within the uniform, helmet, gloves, and boots of the riders. For women’s motocross, the influences are neon, blue, pink, and purple and edgier graphics. Rockstar Energy drinks “star” has captured a lot of attention, as has Monster Energy drinks’ 3-pronged electric green stripe.

In another nod to punk and nu rave style within the sport, Ashley’s hair was partially dyed in a deep pink, giving her a unique look when she took of her helmet and goggles and you could see her beautiful blue eyes. This time sparkling with joy that she’d just won a gold medal in the X Games. Expect more girls to be influenced by these 3 winners in the future.

Women%uFFFDs Super X Moto winners, Elizabeth Bash with bronze, Ashley Fiolek with gold, and Jessica Patterson with silver.

More action shots as Ashley is just about to pass Jessica.

Some riders opted to stay low while others got air.

Jessica and Ashley go at it. Like many other athletes in action sports, most girls are great friends and encourage each other for the better of the sport, rather than being bitter rivals–a trait often found in other sports. This is one of the appealing aspects of action sports and competitions to youth culture as compared with other sporting industries.

Ashley Fiolek comes to a stop after the checkered flag. She can%uFFFDt believe she won.

Hot chick starter girl.

Getting air.

More air. Lots of girls pumped tailwhips and other freestyle moves.

Hitting the bumps.

The course was slick and also tough to see because half the course was in shade and the other still in sunlight given the time of day.

Big hugs at the finish for Ashley and her family and support team.

Another rider in the air.

Pumping fists for many of the top finishers as most busted through with big air at the checkered flag.