Monday, November 23, 2009

Catching up with Ashley Fiolek!

Ashley Fiolek has taken the world of women's motocross by storm over the last few years and is certainly a force to be reckoned with!  This past year has been monumental for Ashley as she has taken an X Games Gold and scored another grueling WMA championship title after an incredible last-moto push after breaking her collar bone!  She has been featured in USA Today as well as a host of other premier publications and was even nominated for an ESPY this year.  Ashley has incredible talent and is able to win races despite being deaf!  She certainly doesn't let her disability hinder her ability to ride like lightning!  I had the chance to catch up with Ashley and ask her some questions about the past year, the off-season, and what her goals are for the coming year.  Please read on to learn more about the fastest woman on two wheels!

Hi Ashley!  First off, how is the collar-bone? collar-bone is was better now! I just got the OK on Monday of last week to ride again.  It is my off season right now so there was no reason to rush it, it was better to just take it easy.

Looks like you took a trip to Belgium, how was it and what did you do?  Was this a way to reward yourself for your championship this year?
Yes! I told myself this year that if I won the WMX championship then I would treat myself and go to Belgium for vacation! It was the best vacation ever...I was so stoked.  I stayed with two of my good friends there and I want to say thanks to the whole Gooverats' family! They are awesome and I had so much fun visiting.  We did so many cool things and Belgium is just beautiful!

Do you have any other major plans for the off-season?
I have a few plans but not anything real big.  Maybe go snowboarding or something fun like that.  I will be just training and getting ready for next years season.

What major events/series do you plan on racing next year?
I will be racing all of the WMX races here in the US and I will, hopefully, get to do some of the FIM racing also.  I like to ride the FIM races because I have so much fun and because it helps to get me ready for the WMA racing which doesn't start until the end of May.  I think the competition is good in both series there just seems to be more girls participating over in Europe!

What was your experience like at X Games?
Wow...winning the X Games was huge!  I had such a great time and it was pretty overwhelming but it was also a really good experience. Winning a gold medal at X puts you more into the mainstream sports area and more people recognize you for that.

How does your Gold at the X Games rank with all of your other accomplishments?
A gold medal definitely ranks pretty high up in the accomplishments area! haha

By the way, I heard you are friends with BMXer Daniel Dhers…how did that come about?
Yes, I do know Daniel!  I had seen him at a lot of different Red Bull events but I never really talked with him because we were both pretty shy.  Then I saw him at the Dew Tour when it came here to Florida.  He won that competition.  The next day, I MySpaced him to say congrats on his win and he replied back to me, saying thanks!  Since that we just started talking...we have both been out in Cali together for different things but we try to get together and hang out.  He is way talented, and

Do you ride BMX at all? Does Daniel know any sign language?
No I can't ride BMX but Daniel has learned a little bit of sign language!

What were some of your favorite races and moments from this past year of racing?
 That is a tough question I would guess racing and winning X Games was definitely a highlight and I also like Colorado (Thunder Valley).  I really love that track and it is held at night so the races are a little bit different than normal.

At the Freestone Texas Race in the first moto, you were battling with JP for most of the race and I got to see you fly over her head on the big sand jump on the last lap (everybody else was rolling it), you really pinned it!  You obviously wanted it worse than JP and it made for some great racing, but JP didn't look too happy after that race… What is your relationship like with Jessica Patterson?  Do you get along pretty well, or do you keep your distance when you're not racing?
Oh yes, that was a gnarly move...but it was a good race!  A lot of people told me that is the best race they ever saw. :-) I think that kind of racing just helps out the women’s side of MX it makes people realize that watching the girls can be just as exciting!
JP and I are not really friends but it is not like we hate each other.  We just both know we are the competition and on the track it is game on! When we are done racing for the day we gave each other a thumbs up and say good job or good luck!

I know you used to hang out with Sarah Whitmore before you turned pro, are you guys still pretty close?  Do all of the WMA racers get along pretty well?
Sarah and I are still great friends, we have been friends forever and still get together when we are not racing and text all of the time.  I hang out with a lot of the WMA girls and do things but that doesn't mean they are all friends with each other :-) haha I kind of force a lot of them together...I mean we all have the same things in common so it is fun to do other things together when we are not racing.

You have certainly gotten a lot of exposure (USA Today article, etc.) and have been able to do some really cool things in the past year (like throwing the 1st pitch at a baseball game), what is the coolest thing (non-motocross) that you have been able to do in the last year?
The first pitch was pretty cool...but I was nominated for an ESPY and that was a pretty big deal! I got to be with all of these amazing athletes and walk the red carpet and go to the was pretty sweet!

What are some of your goals for the coming season?
I want to keep working to try and make the WMX racing grow!! I would like to win another WMX championship and possibly a World championship!

Check out this video from Red Bull about Ashley's WMA championship!

In watching the WMA over the past season, it seems like you and JP would take off and leave the rest of the pack behind.  Do you think anybody will step up their game next year and give you and Jessica a run for your money?
Oh yeah...absolutely!  A lot of the girls are flying!! I am pumped to race against everyone and you never know who will be coming after you out on the track! Everyone is working hard and everyone wants to win!

What has been your favorite aspect of being on the Honda team?  Do you get to ride and train with the boys?  If so, how much has that helped you with your riding?
Being on the Factory Honda/Red Bull racing team is amazing!  They are good to me and I know I have the best bike out there because everyone on the team is working hard! I don't ride too much with the other guys on the team, just mostly when we are testing.  I was able to train and ride with Jeremy McGrath at the Honda test track this summer to get ready for X Games and he helped me out so much...I am very thankful to him for all of his time and help!

Do you have any advice for girls who want to start riding/racing motocross?
I would tell any girl that wants to start riding to always have fun! Don't get frustrated, set some goals and work as hard as you can to reach those goals.  Anything is possible so never stop trying or having fun!

Who are your sponsors right now and will there be any changes for the coming year?
My sponsors are American Honda/Red Bull racing, Red Bull, T-Mobile, Alpinestars, Smith, Leatt, Robb Beams from, Vans  next year I will also be including Able Planet...they are a hearing aid/headphone company, but they believe anyone is capable of doing anything!!

Anybody else you would like to thank?
God, my mom and dad...grandpa and Kicker my little brother!

Thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it!
Thank you very much!!! Have a good one...AF67

**Note: All photos and video courtesy of Red Bull Photofiles