Leonni Tighe

WMX Racer  - When did your interest in motocross begin?
“My interest in motocross began when my dad had a motocross bike when I was around 4 years old. Since then I have always focused on going far with motocross bikes but at the same time having fun as that is why I started. .”
WMX Racer - How did your early years in racing go?
“I started out at a non-competitive level at the age of 6 where I would practice a lot and race now and again. My biggest fear was racing and coming last but we all have to start somewhere! As I raced more and got older my competitiveness got bigger and I was determined to go far in this sport. In 2009 I raced in the Girls nationals Championship on an auto and came 1st overall. I then went on to win it another two times in 2011 and 2013.”
WMX Racer - What do you like the most about going racing?
Leonni  “There’s not much to dislike about motocross. It’s been a part of my life from a young age and therefore always will be.”
WMX Racer - What is your favourite track?
Leonni “I don’t really have a favourite track. I do enjoy Preston Docks MX and Doncaster Moto Parc.
WMX Racer - What has been your biggest achievement in motocross so far?
Leonni  “Achieving 2nd in the BWMA 2017 at the age of 16 has been my biggest achievement in motocross so far.”
WMX Racer - How did it feel to represent your Country in the IMBA European Championship?
Leonni “I was excited to be given the opportunity and proud to be a part of the girls GB IMBA team therefore it’s something I’ll never forget.”
WMX Racer - You recently travelled to Switzerland. Was it good to race in front of a large crowd and on a top class circuit?
Leonni  “The journey to Switzerland felt as if it was never going to end, but travelling with my dad, best friend  and her dad made it a lot more enjoyable. The track was perfectly prepped and had some good ruts and lines in it making the racing interesting.”
WMX Racer - Did you find racing in Europe different to the UK and was the race-pace much different from the BWMA series?
“The lap times were very similar which led the racing to be very close allowing good battles between the girls.”

WMX Racer - What are your thoughts on Ladies motocross and the BWMA?
“I think ladies motocross should be recognised just as much as the men’s motocross. The BWMA is organised for us girls and our families to be able to park together in a separate area of the paddock allowing us to make friendships and memories. The BWMA is also a great chance for girls like myself to see where they are at with their riding so that when we feel we are ready we can implement it into IMBA level. Howard and Vicky did a great job last year with preparing everything and I’m sure they’ll do it again this year. Without them we wouldn’t have our own Women’s championship neither the opportunity to show the potential women’s motocross has.”
WMX Racer - You scored 5 out of 6 holeshots during the Bushton round and finished 3rd overall, you must have been pleased with your speed and the results?
“I was pleased with my riding over the weekend but also very surprised with my holeshots. My riding was consistent throughout each race which gave me a good overall. I enjoyed the track, it got quite rough with breaking and accelerating bumps and also some nice ruts.”
WMX Racer - Can you tell us a little bit about the link with Chad Yarranton and IDS?
“Chad Yarranton approached me with an offer that suited me best. The help and support from him has already been amazing, I’m hoping to get some tips from him throughout the season in order to keep improving my riding.”
WMX Racer - What are your ambitions for this season and the future?
“My goals and targets for this year are to have fun, be determined and take each race as it comes. I hope to be achieving good results at the BWMA like last year with the hard work I put in. As well as this, I hope that my results from the BWMA can allow me to progress to GP level some-time in the future and hopefully one day do some rounds of the Women’s GP to get to grips with the pace.’

Interview by Mike Woods