McThoughts|Women’s East Nationals|RJ’s Round 4
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
The fourth and final round of the Women’s East Nationals went off on Saturday at RJ’s. The turnout was weak (23 riders) for whatever reasons, but the action was still very good. This was the first time where our young champion was really challenged in both motos. Shannon Fleming looked like she had a moto win in her in the 1st moto, but was unable to make the pass stick due to the brutal lappers. In the 2nd moto, the ladies were treated to a mud moto. It was very clear that many of the girls weren’t fans of the wet conditions. But like always, there were a few that absolutely loved it. In the end, it was a great year for the girls on the East and I’m already looking forward to 2017. Here are the top 10 from the 4th and final round, and my thoughts.
1st Eve Brodeur (1-1): Eve made the switch to the four-stroke at the 4th and final round, and she looked just as good on it as the two-stroke. She says that she is slower on it, but enjoys it more. Either way, the young champ went out and earned her 3rd championship and did it with a perfect season. She wasn’t as dominant as she had been in the earlier rounds, but she didn’t need to be. Eve is a smart rider and won’t throw it away for nothing. Congratulations, Eve, you are once again our champion and you are a great role model for the younger girls to look up to.
2nd Brittany Gagne (3-2): In the first moto, Brittany just couldn’t seem to get going. She was never in any danger of not finishing 3rd, but she just couldn’t get a good flow. The rain started coming down for moto 2, and it turns out Gagne is a beast in the mud. Brittany got the holeshot and started to check out. Brodeur reeled her in a tad, and Gagne responded with more speed. Then disaster struck with a little over 2 laps to go. Her right foot slipped off the peg and she seriously damaged her knee. Brittany continued the moto with one leg and only lost one spot. She could be heard screaming in pain around the track. It was amazing to see how much heart and desire she had as she pushed until the end. Good job Britt, you won that moto straight up in my eyes.
3rd Shannon Fleming (2-6): Shannon looked great in practice and carried it over to the first moto. She gave Eve the best run out of anyone all season. I thought she had a moto win in her, but came up just short. In moto 2, Shannon wasn’t her normal self and finished 6th. I think the lack of mud riding held her back, but she was still able to secure a solid 3rd overall. I’m a little sad that she won’t be coming back for 2017, as I think she can really challenge for the championship.
4th Kim Normandin (4-4): Kim had a good day. She was very consistent both motos. I thought she may have issues in the mud with the big bike, but she soldiered through and finished strong.
5th Kassie Boone (6-3): It was nice to see Kassie finish the season strong. Like always, she looked the most comfortable in the air and looked to be still having a blast on the 2-stroke.
6th Madi Seguin (5-7): Solid first moto for Madi. In moto 2, I was really impressed with how well she was riding the mud. Her finish should have been much better but she went down hard and was pinned awkwardly under the bike. Nice to see her get up and still finish. I hope she isn’t hurt as they left right after the moto.
7th Felicia Robichaud (9-5): It took me a while to figure out who this next rider was after practice. I love seeing the off-road girls switch it up to moto. Felicia (Editor’s note: I think she goes by “Gino”) had a decent 1st moto, but really turned it on in moto 2. Her mud skills were pretty impressive and she looked good all day long.
8th Gemma Pope (7-10): Very good day for Gemma. I think the small bike holds her back a little on the starts and coming out of ruts. The plan is to get her on a 125 for the ice racing this winter, and I really think that will help push her closer to the front next season.
9th Emilie-Jade Leveille (10-8): Two solid rides for Emilie-Jade. She’s been very consistent all season long, and I expect her to be battling closer to the top 5 in 2017.
10th Chloe Metcalfe (15-9): Chloe switched to the 250 2-stroke in the off season, and I was a little worried it was too much bike. She proved me wrong and had a very solid season, and no doubt had a ton of fun on the 2-banger.
Biggest Stud: I’m giving the top 3 of Brodeur, Gagne and Fleming stud status this week. These 3 girls were on a completely different level. I feel bad for the other girls that have to race them.
Biggest Dud: Hey ladies, where were you? The rider turnout was very poor. Some girls still want to call this a Pro series, and want more rounds. Well, you need to show up and perform at the rounds you have and help better the series for it to grow.
Biggest Surprise: The heart and pain tolerance of Brittany Gagne is amazing. Not only did she continue racing after a very serious knee injury, she still finished 2nd only losing 1 position. She’s so tough, she made back to the podium to collect her awards and was doing her best to smile despite the pain.
Thanks for reading, see you at Walton.