Patterson Takes Washougal WMA

Cycle News Staff | August 2, 2006

The following is from the WMA:

The fourth round of the 2006 Hitachi AMA/WMA National Motocross Championship presented by Kawasaki was held at the Washougal MX Park National Saturday, July 29th. Moto XXX/Honda of Houston’s Jessica Patterson took back the podium and the points lead but not without controversy.

Moto One: Richardson’s RV/Yamaha rider Tarah Gieger grabbed the Sick Racing holeshot award, followed by Zip Tie Racing/Yamaha rider Sherri Cruse. In the first corner both Patterson and Team Green Kawasaki’s Katherine Prumm went down. Patterson remounted quickly and began picking off riders. By lap six she in was in second place hunting down Gieger. The two rivals were in a heated battle. The lead changed a few times, before it looked like Patterson had control of it. However on the last lap, in the last corner, Patterson went to the outside leaving the door wide open for Gieger. Gieger took the inside and crossed the checker’s first completely surprising Patterson.

The race action didn’t stop there. Earlier in the moto, Cruse defended her number-two position fervently but had been passed by ASW/John Burr Cycles rider Mariana Balbi and Thor/Team Green rider Tania Satchwell, who became locked in a battle of their own. Satchwell showed Balbi a wheel in every corner and tried to pass for nearly seven laps, she ultimately made a pass in the old Hillsboro whoops section, but a few turns after she swapped out. Meanwhile, Prumm had steadily moved up to finish in sixth place.

The intensity of racing throughout the pack of WMA racers was the perfect set up for moto two. Since there were no AMA Pro Racing men’s qualifiers being run, the WMA Pro Racers came back on the track just 45 minutes later.

Moto Two: MSR’s Penni Cyrus pulled her first holeshot of her WMA pro race career. Gieger overtook her by lap two with Patterson in pursuit. Patterson, determined to take the moto win, gained on Gieger and eventually passed her two laps before the checkered flag. Prumm, who was banged up from the first moto pile up, worked her way up from a mediocre start to third. Satchwell made an early pass on Balbi and battled with Cruse before settling in with fourth.

Patterson took the overall, with Gieger in second, and Prumm in third.

Patterson was met with negativity from fans at the podium due to an earlier confrontation with Gieger (Gieger had not retaliated). At the podium a separate altercation took place between Patterson’s mechanic and a person affiliated with Gieger’s team. The WMA is in the process of a full investigation of the two incidents and further penalties may be assessed before the next round of the WMA Championship, which will be held at Broome-Tioga, Binghamton, NY, Saturday, August 19th.

The Hitachi/WMA Highlights will be featured in the AMA Motocross Lites telecast of Washougal airing on OLN, Monday, August 7th, 5:00pm EST.