The established boss and the new kid on the block will continue an enthralling arm-wrestle for Women’s class supremacy this weekend, as the 2019 Airoh Sunny State motocross series enters its second half at Kilcoy.
Twenty-year-old Chelsea Carter ran rampant in last year’s women’s title, but the arrival of 16-year-old Tahlia Drew out of seniors has upset the applecart from the start, as the youngster clean-swept the opener at Coolum, winning three races from three.
Drew subsequently rode the second CQ championship round at Rockhampton, where she surprised most by defeating Queensland Number 1 Nicole Kenny in straight sets.
Back down south though, Drew struggled with some mechanical and other issues while the more experienced Carter chipped away at the points deficit, claiming five of the last six races at the Roma and Tivoli rounds.
After three rounds the win tally stands at 4-5 Carter’s way, though it’s Drew who carries a svelte, 5-point lead into the business end of the season, setting up a tantalising showdown for the crown.
With the round taking place at Carter’s home track of Kilcoy however, it could be the fiercest battle yet for the two Husqvarna-mounted riders.
It’ll also be an interesting build-up to July’s Queensland Women’s Championship battle at Roma, where a fired-up Nicole Kenny and her green Kawasaki will return to the equation, intent on a third-straight Women’s Q#1 plate.
Tahlia Drew - So far, the Airoh series has gone pretty well for me, and the clean sweep at the first round was great. Although I’ve had some bike problems at the second and third rounds I’ve still got the series lead so I’m hoping to come back stronger at Kilcoy and pick up some more points. It’s pretty awesome to have such an exciting battle for the lead at this point in the series. Chelsea is an awesome rider and I’ve looked up to her over the years, so it’s very cool being up there with her now. As far back as I can remember she’s been at the top of the girls and even at the top of the boys back in the day at Kilcoy and it’s just great to have such a great rider to race against and push me. Stepping up into the Women’s class has definitely been a big learning experience for me and I’m keen to see what we can both bring to the state titles later on in the year.
Chelsea Carter - I wasn’t well prepared for the start of this year’s Airoh series; I borrowed a four-stroke and I’ve always been a two-stroke rider, so I finished fourth for round one. But I’ve loved having solid competition this year; it makes racing much more enjoyable and keeps you on your toes throughout, so I’m glad Tahlia has stepped up and given me a run for my money. Last time out at Tivoli I had to be really smart and eliminate mistakes as much as possible, and when I found great lines and managed to push hard through the entire race it gave me the overall. I’ve always ridden well at Kilcoy, so I hope I can pull a comfortable win over Tahlia like I did at Roma and Tivoli to help me make up for lost points at Coolum.
Images: Drew #243, Carter #38. Bruce Cairns, Tony Clark, John Pinnell