ICYMI | Catching Up with Yanick Boucher
By Billy Rainford
In 2019, #44 was run by a rider we’ve gotten to know a lot better the past couple years. Yanick Boucher is the rider from way up in Hearst, Ontario, who ran the double digit this season and will do it again in 2020 but with the lower #33.
Yanick is another of our multi-season athletes who competes in Motocross throughout the summer and then turns his attention to Snowbike racing in the winter moths.
The proliferation of winter races is really opening doors for our racers to compete for more than the short 2 1/2 month Pro motocross season here in Canada.
More and more companies are offering conversion kits to ready your bike to compete on the snow. This increase is bringing more money and options which should see the sport continue to expand. No matter how you slice it, it’s great for the industry!
As I mentioned, Yanick if from Hearst. Before I go any further, let’s have a look at a map to see why I’m always harping on the fact that it’s extremely impressive how someone from this small, isolated town can climb up through the ranks to make it to the Professional stage:
That’s it way up there at the top, and yes, that’s LAKE SUPERIOR in the lower left! Wait until you hear Yanick’s answer to the question about how far the nearest track is. The Boucher family LOVES racing, obviously.
Let’s have a look at his results from the 2019 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MX Nationals:
We got in touch with Yanick to talk about his season and find out what he’s got planned for the future:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Yanick. Let’s remind people a little bit about you. How did you get your start in Motocross?
Yanick Boucher: Hi Billy, thanks for reaching out. I got started in motocross at the age of 14. One of my friends had a bike and let me try it once. After that I was hooked and had to get one for myself.
What was your first number and why did you choose it?
My first number was 119. The first bike I bought had number 118 on it but that number was already taken, so I cut part of the 8 out the graphics to make a 9. That’s how ended up with 119.
Who was your motocross hero growing up?
Ryan Villopoto was probably the guy I looked up to the most when I got into motocross.
I think we all know the answer to this, but what’s the toughest part about racing when you live in Hearst, Ontario?
Haha Yeah, that’s an easy one to answer. Definitely the traveling! With the closest track being 6 hours away, me and my family spent a lot of time on the road to get to the races.
I always tell people how impressed I am with the dedication it must have taken to get to the Pro level with all that travel. Who did you come up through the ranks battling?
I always had good battles with a few guys on the northern series, and once we started travelling more to the races down south I was far from being a top guy but always found someone to battle with to keep improving myself.
You traveled the entire MX National series this past summer. Your best overalls were a 14th and 13th at Sand Del Lee and then River Glade. What was your best race of the summer?
I would have to say River Glade was my best one. I felt good on the track right away in practice, I got two decent starts in the motos, and rode solid. In the second moto, I was running 11th with the 10th place guy not too far in front of me, but, unfortunately, at the halfway mark I got a rear flat. I still managed to finish out the race in 13th but I was a bit bummed because I would’ve beaten my best result.
What’s your favourite track?
Probably Sand Del Lee. I really like the dirt and the layout of the track and it’s always a challenging track.
What was your best travel memory from this summer?
I would have to say traveling trough the mountains out west. It’s such a cool thing to see. I was glad I could check it all out in between rounds 1 and 2.
You finished 12th overall in MX. Were you happy with that? What can you do to improve on it?
Yeah, I’m pretty pumped on my overall result this summer! My goal coming into the season was to get inside that top 15, so I’m pretty happy we got it done. I just gotta keep working hard and work on my speed to get closer to that top 10.
You raced the Montreal SX, too. How did that go for you?
Yes, I did. It was a fun event. I don’t have a lot of Supercross experience so I really just went to try and learn from it, but I really enjoyed the whole experience racing inside the Olympic Stadium.
What have you been up to since then? I assume it’s all about Snowbike racing now, right?
Since the season got done I’ve been back home in Hearst working as many hours as I can in the family business before the Snowbike season comes around. It is coming up quick and I’m really looking forward to it!
What are you winter racing plans?
This winter I’ll be doing a lot more racing south of the border on the ISOC series with some select rounds on the CSRA circuit and I wanna go to X Games as well. So, it will be a lot of traveling again.
How about next summer?
Not sure about my plans for next summer yet. It would be cool to do the full Mx Tour again. We’ll see how the winter goes and, hopefully, I’ll be back next summer.
You’re #33 for 2020. How do you feel about that?
It’s awesome. Matching digits again (Haha), but I’m pretty happy I improved quite a bit from last year and I’m glad I was able to lower that number again.
OK, thanks for the chat, Yanick. Good luck this winter and who would you like to thank?
Thanks for reaching out to me and thank you. Hopefully, we’ll see you at some Snowbike events. A big thanks to everyone that has helped make this season a great one: Bailey Motorsports, Husqvarna Motorcycles, Flybyu Motorsports, Boucher Plumbing & Heating, Central Marine Muskoka, St Onge Recreation, Hall Race Fuels, Motul, Troy Lee Designs, Scott Goggles, Atlas Brace, Deft Family Gloves, Team LTD, My family, and everyone that supports me.