Features 8 May 2014

Race Recap: Jess Gardiner

Women's AORC leader reflects on Corner Inlet victories.

With four round wins in a row and a total of five wins in 2014, Jess Gardiner is looking the goods to take out her third Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) crown in the Women’s category this year.

After a dominant weekend at rounds five and six at Hedley, Gardiner took some time out to have a chat with MotoOnline.com.au about her weekend and the upcoming round of the Maxxis FIM World Enduro Championship.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Jess, you could not ask for a better weekend than this one! Two round wins – four on the trot – and you leave Hedley with a 16-point lead in the championship over Tayla [Jones]. You must be pretty happy with your weekends work. Sum up your weekend.

Round five on Saturday went really well. I won the Cross Country in the Women’s. I had a bad start, I didn’t get the best of starts, but I worked my way through and worked really hard. I ended up coming second Outright with 140 Clubman riders as well, so I was pretty happy with that and that made my weekend! Sunday I had another good day; I was going crash-free until the last heat when I had one big crash, but other than that I did really well. I ended winning today over Emelie [Karlsson], and finished 60th outright with the Pro, Expert, Masters, Vets and Women’s today, so I’m really happy with that result as well. Overall it has been a great weekend. It’s a nice confidence boost before I head back overseas.

Well that was my next question, you head back over to Europe for the next round of the Maxxis FIM World Enduro Championship, next round for yourself will be the GP of Finland in Heinola on 7-8 June. What sort of experience can you take from this weekend and apply it to that round next month?

Yeah, definitely. The competition here is really strong. Pushing along here with the girls and the guys here this weekend, we’re all getting faster, step by step. I’ve heard the following round in Sweden the weekend after Finland will be a little bit sandy, but just with a lot more tree roots in the pine forest. So hopefully this weekend will pay off, because it was really rough out here this weekend.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

All in all, are you happy?

Definitely! I’m super-stoked with the weekend. The Balllard’s Motorex Off Road Team Sherco 300 performed fantastic all weekend long, and the Metzeler tyres where faultless. I can’t fault a thing! Also a big thanks to Bulk Nutrients, InsureMyRide and all of our other sponsors.

And what do you think you can build on from here for the remaining six rounds? Where can you see yourself improving?

Yeah, we’re always working on speed and technique. I would love to get a bit more speed and a bit more technical, which is always every ones goal. I’ll just keep plucking forward and training hard. For the time being our focus will be on the EWC, then the next two rounds of the AORC in South Australia at Coonawarra, which is sure to be another good weekend, so I can’t wait.

Great work; thanks very much for taking the time out and well done on this weekend. All the best of luck for the next round of the EWC. Go get ’em in Finland!