Ashley Fiolek, 19-years-old, can’t hear her critics, but then again she can’t hear at all. Ashley is deaf, but she is dominaing women’s motocross.
“I hear it my own way,” Ashley explained. “I can feel everything about my bike. I have grown up riding that way so it’s nothing new to me.”
Ashley is going to try and claim a third consecutive WMA title. She has steped up and replaced five-time champion Jessica Patterson as the sport’s premier athlete. She was born deaf, and her parents relocated to send her to a deaf and blind school. That didn’t last long. Her parents felt the school was teaching their daughter that she was handicaped, but they knew she was limitless. She has taken her deeming handicap and adapted to an amazing rider.
“I can’t change [racing] lines like other riders because I have to make sure no one is behind me first,” she conceded. “But I think the advantages are that I don’t know when someone’s behind me so I don’t freak out. Also, I don’t hear any smack talking at the races so it doesn’t affect me.”
Ashley is a Honda Red Bull Racing team member and was the first female to be given a factory ride, or full sponsorship. She also is the reigning X Games champion and hopes to someday compete against men. There is no doubt she will light up the track, no matter who else is racing.