2014 has kicked off in the best possible fashion for Jess Gardiner– claiming the inaugural Womens Australian Enduro-X National title. The previous two rounds had been a hard fought contest between Jess and Tayla Jones with only two points separating them.
The two heat races determined the order for the gate pick and Jess used the first to demonstrate her trademark speed and style, securing the holeshot and leading from start to finish. Despite a small mishap in the rock section Jess finished with a commanding lead. Tayla Jones took the holeshot in the second practice however Jess quickly regained the lead with a superb passing maneuver around the outside of Tayla and again finished with a 20 second gap between second placed Kirstie McKinnon and herself.
Jess admitted to a few nerves before the final. “The atmosphere was amazing; in the practice I could hear the crowd yelling and the announcer saying my name. I knew I had the speed, it just a case of keeping my head and putting together a run without mistakes.”
Tayla Jones came out of the gates fighting and again took the holeshot. A well timed block pass allowed Tayla to maintain her lead for almost half the race. Jess kept the pressure on steadily closing the gap and when the rock garden caused Tayla lose several positions Jess took the lead and didn’t look back, definitively laying claim to the title of Australian Enduro-X Champion.
From Jess: “I had an amazing weekend. It was awesome to have GB here with me, he has been a huge inspiration to me since I began racing enduro and it’s great to still have him by my side. I’m privileged to have some amazing sponsors who were also here. InsureMyRide and Bulk Nutrients are really pro active in supporting dirtbike riding and racing and it’s great to be able to share their enthusiasm for the sport. I feel I’m the most prepared I’ve ever been, I’m injury free and incredibly motivated and this win just makes me all the more excited for the AORC in a few weeks.”