Ashlea to test rivals at Coolum
COFFS Harbour motocross rider Ashlea Bates will be out to continue her dominance of Queensland women's championships when she competes at Coolum later this month.
Ashlea, who is normally mixing it with the boys, will open her 2005 campaign rearing to go after she suffered a broken collarbone in the opening race of the 2004 event.
Riding a Yamaha 250Fcc bike, Ashlea will go into the event as one of the favourites after recording wins at the inaugural event in 2002 and again in 2003.
The overall winner is decided by the most points gained over three rounds.
This year Ashlea, 14, will be riding in the 13-14 years age group and she is confident of performing well.
"Riding against the boys all the time is a good preparation for me when I go back to just riding against the girls," she said.
The 2005 season is again shaping up as a big one for Ashlea whose main aim will be the Australian championships in Coolum.
Other events she will ride in this year are the Shell event series, the South East Queensland series and the North Coast five-way series.
Her mother Jo said Ashlea would have to bide her time while in the junior ranks.
"A lot of people know about her ability and the doors will definitely open for her when she becomes a senior rider.
"Everything will be done for her with factory team support, basically all Ashlea will have to do is to turn up and ride," Jo said.
After an injury-plagued year last year, Ashlea can't wait to get back into action.
The Bates family have had to take their children to each race meeting themselves to support their racing careers and are away on more weekends than they are home.
Waiting in the wings is another future motocross star, Ashlea's younger sister Aleisha while older brother Nathan will be looking at a number of Supercross events this year.