THE two-time Australian Women’s MX champion Kristy Long (nee Gillespie) has retired from competitive motocross racing, amicably parting ways with her team GMR Motorex KTM last week.
Kristy married fellow motocross rider Jarrod Long recently and will remain involved with the sport for as long as she feels useful and will take part in some coaching initiatives.
“This certainly won’t be the end of me riding a dirt bike, I still enjoy it,” she said.
In a racing career that spanned more than a decade, the Albury-Wodonga local won an incredible eight consecutive Victorian Ladies titles, making her one of the most prolific motocross riders Victoria has ever produced.
Long, 25, played soccer as a junior and became addicted to the sport when she took part in a come and try day 14 years ago. Since then she has won the eight Victorian titles, her first state title was in 2006, two Australian Women’s Motocross titles (2008 and 2010) and a New Zealand Women’s Motocross title in 2006.
“Every win was pretty special,” Long said.
“If I had to pick favourites I’d say winning two Australian titles was pretty special.
“The one moment I remember the most, which I probably shouldn’t remember, was in 2006 where we had two rounds of the Australian Women’s MX Championships. I won every race in the first round and won the first two races in the second round.
“I had to finish 12th or better to win the title and my bike decided to quit on me with two laps to go.”
She also looks back with immense joy on the day she won a race against the guys in the B-grade class at the Victorian Senior Motocross Championships in Cobram last year.
“It was pretty cool to lead the boys around for a race and Cobram was close to home,” Long said.
She picks out the Goulburn Valley motocross track as her favourite in the state. “I really don’t mind it,” she added.
Long is optimistic about the future of female motocross racing in Victoria: “There’s still going to be good racing in the ladies’ class. There are several very talented and competitive girls moving up into the senior competition this year”.