Ashley Fiolek with the Peristyle in the background last year.
For some reason, the X Games dropped Men’s Supercross, but kept Women’s Supercross. In the place of Supercross?the men will race Endurocross…and in a surprise move…the X Games added Women’s Endurocross. X Games 17 takes place July 28 to July 31 at the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, the L.A. Live Event Deck and Lot 7.
Ashley Fiolek won last year’s X Games Women’s Supercross race in the dusty and dry L.A. Coliseum, but this year the women will race inside the Staples Center. Fiolek took a moment to talk about the upcoming X Games, the new Staples Center venue for “Moto X” event and also revealed that she has decided not to do the Endurocross event.
Just a few years ago it was a big deal for the Women to get invited to the Moto X event at X Games – and now you’re the headliners! How does that feel?
Ashley: Well of course it feels great! I mean, I still wish the guys were there, but this is huge for women racers and I am glad that I am a part of it all.
This year’s Moto X Racing will take place in Staples Center rather than the Coliseum. Do you feel that moving things indoors will improve the track conditions (dust, sun glare), and by extension, the racing?
I think it will be a little of both. There will definitely be the environment improvements that we will not have to worry about, but at the Staples Center the track is also supposed to be tighter and shorter and we will be doing qualifiers now, too – something we haven’t done in the past X Games races.
How much do you and the team dedicate to racing X Games? It’s only one event, but it’s very different from WMX. Do you have a dedicated bike? How much preparation?
Every year it seems the dedication from my team and myself is improving. The Honda race team and Red Bull have been very supportive of me racing X Games. I have done some testing and I have a bike just for X Games. The team has come out to support me even in practice. It is hard to turn SX on and off compared to my outdoor national racing but I have been doing some practice since after the fourth of July.
You were invited to compete in the Enduro X Women’s competition – are you going to do it?
I just recently came to the decision, but I will not be participating in Enduro X. I did want to do it – it’s something new and everything about X Games is always exciting. But when a few of my sponsors approached me about not racing it, it was time for my family and me to reevaluate. There just wasn’t enough time to prepare for it and I don’t really have anywhere to practice. I would need a completely different bike and setup. My sponsors want me to focus my energies on the SX race right now.
Do you have any background in offroad? Have you ever attempted things like boulders and log crossings?
No, I have not done any of that. It doesn’t really come up in moto racing!
Photos by Christian Pondella/Shazamm/ESPN Images