Motocross sisters prepare for nationals in Vegas
Bailey (left) and Harley Williams wait for an opportunity to get back on the track.
Wilson County NewsApril 17, 2013 3,047 views 1 comment
LA VERNIA -- While many elementary-age school girls spend their free time playing with dolls, climbing on jungle gyms, or riding bicycles with the other neighborhood children, Bailey and Harley Williams of La Vernia prefer to spend their time atop two-wheelers of another kind, as they ride their motorcycles fast, and jump everything in sight.
The home-schooled sisters, ages 7 and 5, have been riding motorcycles for the past two years, and have been racing motocross competitively for the better part of a year. This past February, the girls participated in the Amsoil Arenacross qualifier, and both punched tickets to the nationals.
In order to qualify, Bailey and Harley had to finish among the top four riders in the region. Bailey races in the 50cc 7-8 class, and younger sister Harley runs in the 50cc 4-6 class. Bailey finished third in her regional race to grab a spot in the nationals, and Harley did the same by finishing fourth. With a total of only 20 racers from across the country qualifying in each class, the Williams sisters will soon find themselves lining up against the best riders they have ever faced. The AMA (American Motorcycle Association) Amateur National Arenacross Championships are set for May 3-5 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
The girls first expressed an interest in riding four-wheelers, but parents Scott and Missy were a bit concerned about the size and weight of those machines. The girls were instead introduced to motorcycles, and the connection was instant.
“I used to race when I was young, and I’m glad to see them enjoying it too,” Scott said.
After about a year of casual riding, the girls’ skill levels grew, and they became interested in competitive arenacross. The sisters lined up for their first races last September, and haven’t looked back since. Bailey finished fourth in her first-ever race, and Harley just missed a win with her second-place finish.
Since that first race, the girls have participated in more than a dozen races each. Harley was the first to a race win as she grabbed the checkers in October during the Halloween Race at Cycle Ranch. Bailey earned her first victory earlier this year in February. In addition to racing, the girls also have structured training sessions with coaches two to three times each week, and their riding sessions range from two hours to all day.
Bailey said she likes “jumping anything and everything,” and has also enjoyed the travel to various tracks. Harley keeps things a bit more simple, saying simply that she likes “going fast.” The Williams family has traveled across Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma to compete at a variety of tracks, and will soon add Nevada to the resume. Scott said a trip to Tennessee may also be in the works later this year, assuming the girls qualify for that national event, as well.
Since the girls started racing, the Williams family has gone “all in” to help them pursue their motocross dreams. Scott and Missy knew their daughters needed good equipment if they were going to be competitive in the sport, and Scott went so far as to sell his truck last year to fund the purchase of two new KTM motorcycles.
“This sport is expensive,” he said with a smile. “Everything costs so much.”
The expense of the sport comes not only from the initial cost of the motorcycle and safety equipment, but also in the continuing upkeep and repair of the bikes. With racing fuel that costs $13 per gallon, and high-performance motors that are partially rebuilt every 15 racing hours, there is always something to be done, and money to be spent.
The girls are excited about Las Vegas, and about racing on a new track. Harley said she is going to “pull the holeshot” out of the gate, and Bailey said she is looking forward to some new jumps. Scott and Missy are pretty excited, too, and expressed how proud they are of their daughters. The entire Williams MX Team is working hard, and should represent La Vernia and Wilson County well next month.
For more information about the Williams MX Team, or to help with sponsorship, contact Missy at 830-391-4567, or email email@example.com.