MX Sports announced today that it has acquired the Women’s Motocross Association (WMA) National Championship. As a result, the Women’s Motocross Championship will be fully integrated into the AMA Pro Motocross Championship beginning with the 2009 season.
MX Sports acquired the rights to the WMA from its founder Miki Keller. Based out of Oregon, Keller founded the company in 2004 and dedicated herself to the growth of women’s motocross, building a legitimate women’s championship that draws top racers from around the world as competitors.
Keller will remain an integral part of the women’s program, consulting for MX Sports and working as the Women’s Director on a contractual basis. She will continue to work independently on other projects including with ESPN on Women’s Moto X at the X Games.
“I am thrilled with this latest development for the WMA and women’s professional motocross,” said Keller. “This validates my original belief that women racers are worthy of competing in their own series and young riders deserve to have a top-level championship to aspire to.”
MX Sports Vice President Davey Coombs added, “Miki has done an outstanding job developing and nurturing women’s motocross and leading the sport into the spotlight and mainstream acceptance. With the new role of MX Sports as operators of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, we are finally in a position to provide the women racers the treatment they have earned in the series. Additionally, we look forward to working with Miki on the transition and into the 2009 season.”
Plans are already underway to continue improvements to the women’s program. The 2009 schedule will feature eight rounds of women’s racing with both motos on Saturday in the new one-day national format.
“This is huge news for the sport of women’s motocross here in the U.S.,” said 2008 Champion Ashley Fiolek. “We all know that Miki Keller has worked tirelessly to improve the environment for women in this sport and for the WMA to make another step forward with MX Sports is awesome. I look forward to defending my WMA Championship in 2009 and working with Miki and the MX Sports team to further improve the series.”
Operationally, the 2009 Women’s Class technical regulations will be the same as the men’s 250 Class (formerly AMA Motocross Lites) and the women will be required to go through the same tech inspection while also attending the riders meetings at each event.
On the marketing side, the Women’s Class will be included in the MX Sports television package and will be featured in the live webcast at each round where they compete. The women will also be promoted in pre-event media initiatives along with the post-event press conferences.
“This commitment to the women’s pro class by MX Sports is a milestone for women’s motocross and women athletes as a whole,” added Keller. “It creates more career opportunities for the current women riders and offers aspiring women racers a shot at a career in professional motocross. I could not be more proud.”
2009 AMA Pro Motocross Championship Women’s Class Schedule
May 23 Glen Helen Raceway San Bernardino, Calif.
May 30 Hangtown Motocross Classic Sacramento, Calif.
June 6 Freestone Raceway Wortham, Texas
June 13 High Point Raceway Mt. Morris, Calif.
June 27 Thunder Valley Motocross Lakewood, Col.
July 25 Washougal MX Park Washougal, Wash.
August 29 Moto-X 338 Southwick, Mass.
Sept. 5 Steel City Raceway Delmont, Pa.
2008 WMA National Championship Top-10
1 Ashley Fiolek
2 Jessica Patterson
3 Sarah Whitmore
4 Tarah Gieger
5 Sherri Cruse
6 Mariana Balbi
7 Elizabeth Bash
8 Tatum Sik
9 Ayla Cabus
10 Alisa Nix