Catching Up with Women’s West Champ, Avrie Berry
By Billy Rainford
We’ve got some really fast riders here in Canada to battle for both halves of our Women’s MX National series. Having Eve Brodeur head west for the first time to race but not for points added another top-level rider to the mix.
When we added American World WMX competitor Avrie Berry this spring, we knew we were in for some great racing between the top 3 women.
Avrie won the AX title and has now added the MX title to her list of Canadian accomplishments, but it came down to the final round at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC against former champ, Shelby Turner.
She’s not resting on her laurels, however, and is now preparing to head back to Europe to race the World series.
We caught up with her to talk a bit about the title, racing in Canada, and about herself a little, too.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Avrie. Congratulations on winning the Women’s West title. We’ve spoken a few times on DMX, but let’s let everyone know a bit more about you before we talk about the actual series. How did you first get involved in racing moto?
Avrie Berry: Thank you! I started riding when I was three years old and racing when I was four, so motocross has been a big part of my life for a long time now. My older brother was someone that I looked up to and he was a great rider so I was lucky to have him as a mentor.
What was it like growing up in Washougal? Do you like the track there? Riders always say it’s slippery and not as much fun to ride as it looks.
I loved living in Washougal. I’ve ridden there so much but I can still say that is one of my favorite tracks. Some people may complain about the conditions but the good thing about that track is it can change a lot. Nobody gets faster from riding on a perfect, groomed track.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
My first number was 55 and I chose it because that was my brother’s number and I just liked to copy everything he did.
You also race the World WMX series. Can you sum up what that’s like for us? What’s the coolest place you’ve ridden, besides Canada? 😉
Racing over seas is a lot different than anything we’re used to in USA and Canada. Each race is in a different country and you get to see a lot of different cultures over there. My favorite place I’ve raced was Trentino, Italy. The pictures from there really don’t do it justice, it’s insane.
So, the US series isn’t what it used to be, so you headed north to Canada. What is your impression of our country and series?
Yeah, unfortunately, WMX in the US has basically come to an end. I think what they’re doing with WMX in Canada is exactly what we need to do in the US. Women’s motocross will never be big again unless we put the races back with the Pro Nationals. I think that people don’t see the market in women’s motocross but girls buy dirt bikes too! Especially if they see fast girls racing on TV.
You, Shelby Turner, and Eve Brodeur made the series a lot of fun to watch. How was that battle from your perspective?
I thought it was really cool that we could come together from east, west and south and race against each other. I wasn’t sure how the competition would be so I was happy to see some fast girls at each race.
Did you end up getting to know the other riders up here? Is racing the same all over or did Canada feel different?
Yeah, I got to meet a lot of girls. I’d say the Canadians were the most friendly competition I’ve ever had!
You had a 7-point lead going into the final round at Whispering Pines. Without Eve there, you and Shelby were definitely the class of the field. Did you go into it thinking you just had to stay up and not finish worse than 2nd in either moto, or how did you approach that round?
I was going into that round wanting to go 1-1. I was pretty bummed with my riding but I’m glad I could claim the championship still.
What did you do with the Manluk Racing team to celebrate?
After the awards ceremony, we all went to dinner to celebrate. It was pretty laid back.
What was your favourite track of the 4? I guess the weather will affect this answer, though.
My favorite track was Prince George. I think I liked it the most because it reminded me of a European track.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be on a plane to Belgium in less than two weeks and that’s where I’ll be staying for the rest of the year as I finish out the rest of the WMX series over seas.
Cool! How about next summer? You have to come back and defend your #1 plate, right?
It all depends on the schedule for MXGP. I was lucky to have a perfect gap in my races so that I could do the West Canadian Nationals this year. So we will see how everything works out. Maybe I’ll try out the East coast next year.
What other things do you do besides moto? Do you play any other sports or what is it you like to do to recharge your batteries?
My life is pretty centered all around MX so there’s not many other things that I do. My favorite thing to do is going home to see my family.
OK, congratulations on getting a Canadian title. Good luck and who would you like to thank?
I can’t thank the Manluk Racing team enough for giving me the opportunity to race in Canada. This is their first year as a pro team and we became a family. I’d also like to thank Merge Racing Technology, they’ve helped the team so much making the bikes fast and perfect suspension. And of course my mechanic Dave for the inspiring pit board messages and everyone else that helps me out: Thor, Bell, Scott, CTI, Young Living, KTM, and my parents for always sticking behind me.