Spanner in the works

AN electrical fault has robbed local motocross star Ashlea Bates of a chance of winning a national title.

The 17-year-old from Toormina was controlling the opening race of the final round of the 2008 Yamaha Australian Women's Motocross Championships held at Lake Macquarie when disaster struck, ruining her chances of becoming number one in the country.

Prior to the opening race, Bates was in total-focus mode knowing there was no room for error with current world champion Katherine Prumm not showing up at the final event, and leaving the door open for an Australian woman to take out the championship.
 
With adrenalin pumping, the Husky Chix team member stormed into the lead as her TC250 Husqvarna powered away from all the other riders.

Bates held a 10 second gap in front of Adelia Barton and almost a 20 second gap in front of Kristy Gillespie, setting the fastest lap time of 2.11.36 in the process before disaster struck.

Entering the final lap with no detection of error, the local rider's bike came to a complete halt. Unfortunately her bike had an electrical problem that blew her championship aspirations out the door.
 
In the second race, the young rider was still coming to terms with her disappointment yet still managed to put her professional talent back into focus to fly into the first corner in second position despite starting from the worst gate due to her 'DNF' (Did Not Finish) in the previous race.

Hot on the tail of eventual national champ Kristy Gillespie, the pair stormed away from the rest of the pack while Bates pulled the fastest time of 2.10.25 for the day but it wasn't enough to fix the days results.
 
"This has been the most emotional day for me, my team and my family," the local champ said at the completion of the round.

"A lot of effort and work had gone in and it was quite emotional to have so many people surrounding me with empathy but as they say that's racing.

"Kristy has had a lot of bad luck in the years and this year was my turn."



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