5 Minutes with…Canadian X Games Racer, #53 Yanick Boucher
By Billy Rainford
#53 Yanick Boucher is the Canadian racer from Hearst, Ontario, who just competed in his first Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. He broke the top 10 in the Snow BikeCross event with a 9th place finish. We knocked on the door of his motorhome at the end of the day to get his thoughts on the event.
Direct Motocross: Yanick, you’re from Hearst, Ontario. Can we start off by letting everyone know where that is?
Yanick Boucher: If you guys know where Timmins is, it’s 3 hours northwest of Timmins. It’s up north (Laughs). Hearst is actually, I would say, 95% French, so when I’m back home that’s all I speak. It’s not Quebec but we’re about 4 or 5 hours from the Quebec border…it’s weird. We’re just a small French town.
You finished 9th today at your first X Games. How was the overall vibe for you?
I’m just super-stoked about this whole event. For me, just to make it over here is amazing. We got here and we were able to get 4th in our qualifier for the final and I ended up 9th in the final. I’m just super-happy about the day. It’s pretty awesome for me.
How did the final go? Were you doing the big downhill double-double-double rhythm section?
I did it a couple laps but there were a few laps where I wasn’t able to do it and I was losing a bunch of time there. I was struggling with visibility out there, also, with the sun going down and the artificial snow being so white. It was hard to see.
It was good after I got into groove after a few laps and it was a good race.
Who were you battling with?
Jake Scott was in front of me for a bit and I was holding on to him. He kind of got away and another guy went down and I was able to get around him. Jake wasn’t too far in front of me but I can’t be too bummed about that. I’m just so happy to be racing in that final, it’s such an accomplishment for me.
How long have you been on a snow bike?
This is the first year for me. I’ve been doing moto for 7 years now. I started snocross 7 years ago, also. Same summer as I started moto, I started snocross as well. I got approached by Bailey Motorsports to do some snow bike this winter and I thought it was a good idea , with the whole X Games and everything, so I had the combination of moto and snocross. I thought I’d give it a shot and I’m super-happy I did it. I’m having a lot of fun on the snow bikes. They’re amazing.
The sport is really growing fast. What is in your future, more moto or are you full-time snow like some of the other top guys?
I’m not too sure yet, what I’m going to do this summer, but I’m probably going to end up doing some moto again in the Nationals. That’s probably the plan for this summer. I’m going to keep doing the snow bike thing and keep growing the sport. I think the sport is heading in a good direction. Already from last year, it’s grown a lot. We’ll see what the future holds for this.
Are you thinking you’ll do the whole National series this summer or focus on the east?
This past summer, I did 8 of them. I did Calgary and Regina and then I did the whole east. Right now, my plan is to do the whole east, but we’ll see what comes up.
You mentioned vision earlier. Tell us what that’s like out there with the snow dust and roost. Is it worse than moto?
It makes you have a horrible time for vision. You can’t see, everything is just white, and you can’t see elevation or anything. It makes it so hard to race.
What was the trickiest part of the course this year? The finish line, the rhythm section…
The finish line wasn’t too bad for the final. It was pretty steep in practice. For me, the most [difficult] part was that downhill, trying to get it dialed in, to not make a mistake through it.
What’s next for you?
My next race, we’re going to Valcourt, Quebec, for part of the CSRA circuit, so that’s going to be the next race for us.
You’re tied with Nathan Bles for the lead in that series, right?
I think I’m a little bit ahead of Nathan…ya (Laughs). We had some good racing in Rouyn at the first round, so it should be fun for the rest of the season.
Well, it was nice to meet you, and congratulations on this big achievement. Before we go, who would you like to thank?
Thank you. I’ve got to give a huge thank you to my whole team. It wouldn’t be possible to come out here and do this: Bailey Motorsports, Fly by You Motorsports, Mistyk Lubricants, HMK, Yeti, Troy Lee Designs, 139 Designs, Husqvarna Canada, Camso, everyone that supports us, thank you so much.