Out of the Blue: Catching Up With...Karly Pozdnekoff
Interview by Leanne Jantzi
Photos by James Lissimore
Karly Pozdnekoff has been riding and racing motocross for a long time. The Alberta native has made the move to Ontario and plans to keep racing and pushing the sport of Women's Motocross into the future. DMX caught up with her as she finalizes her racing plans for 2012.
Hey, Karly. For anyone who doesn’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, my name is Karly and I have raced motocross since I was about 6 years old. My first race was actually against my brother and that’s probably the only trophy that I have to prove that I beat him and I have been racing ever since then. I really enjoy it. I have gotten to race a bunch of different tracks.
What’s your favourite track that you have raced on?
I don’t really have a favourite track, but I like riding at Gopher Dunes because it is quite challenging and the first time I ever went there I couldn’t stay on two wheels and now I pride myself in being able to get around the track.
Always up for a challenge, Pozdnekoff enjoys the rough and sandy Gopher Dunes track because it is just that, very challenging.
You had a great 2011 season. Take us through the year and how are you feeling after it?
It was a pretty good season. I had a little bit of a get-off at the first race at Gopher Dunes—my helmet actually flew off! I hit the back of Taylor Miller’s back tire, so it was a little tough after that. I was a little shaken but Ste. Julie was good. The track was pretty muddy for a dry day. Sand Del Lee was good. I finished off well and was happy to be in the top three.
Have you always raced the east coast rounds?
No, I have actually lived in Alberta my whole life. I raced there and, basically, the west tracks were all I really knew until 2007 when I came out here to race. I really liked it out here and I met my boyfriend out here and I moved here this year.
Do you prefer the tracks out west or the ones out east?
The ones here are defiantly groomed better, you could say. I find it much more competitive here, whereas in Alberta it is still competitive but more laid back with how everything is run.
Karly hails from Alberta but now calls Ontario home and is happy with the tracks it has to offer.
Take us back to the beginning. How did you start racing?
My dad has raced since he was 14 and he grew up with bikes. I was basically born around a motocross track—so was my brother and sister—and we’ve always just kind of followed in his footsteps. My parents never said that we couldn`t race and I think my dad was excited when we actually wanted to get on a bike after seeing him crash.
What are your plans for 2012?
As of now I`ll be aboard my 2010 KX 250F. I don’t really have too many plans as to what races I`m going to do—maybe some provincials, TVR races—but I will definitely hit-up the 3 women’s national races on the Saturday or Sundays.
What are your thoughts about the women’s nationals being held on amateur day for the 2012 season?
I think that it`s definitely a step back. I know I really pride myself on being able to make it around a pro national track. Saturday is a little bit of a different game; the track is a lot smoother—not as rough—and it has a whole different vibe to it in general, whereas, on Sunday, when the men race all the sponsors are there and it just has a better race feeling.
With the track conditions being different on amateur day do you think you will do better or worse?
I don’t know. It`s really hard to say because I have had good luck on the amateur days, but, at the same time, I like to have that challenge of racing on the pro day as well.
Where do you see women’s motocross as a sport in general going in the future?
I hope that it continues to grow and that we do see more girls at the gate this year, so we can get it back on Sundays with the guys. I think that we deserve that and we deserve to have our riding showcased to major sponsors.
Do you think you will be able to gain more exposure on the amateur day because the media will be able to focus primarily on the women?
In some ways I can see that being a good thing, but they say that we are going to be on the podium and stuff but the Gopher Dunes National is on a Saturday. Who from the industry is going to stick around on the Sunday?
What’s the most memorable experience of your career so far?
Probably back in 2007 when I first started on the circuit. I was really new to everything and I was becoming more competitive. Being around Jessica Foster and Jolene (Van Vugt) and all those girls that were really fast, I really looked up to them. It was really fun racing with them that year just being able to race here in Eastern Canada—somewhere I had never raced before—and get a top ten national number that year.
Are there any riders, female or male, that you look up to?
Definitely Jessica Foster. She really helped me to gain more exposure as an amateur and she gave me a lot of good tips when I was younger. She helped me with my resume and all that and I really appreciate the help she gave me. I was also always a fan of Darcy Lange. I really liked his riding. I wish he was still riding.
The history of women's racing in Canada is not lost on Karly and she is thankful for all the hard work the ladies before her put into the sport.
Are you following supercross this year?
Yes, I am!
What do you think about the season so far?
I wish things were going a little better for James Stewart, as I am a James Stewart fan, but it has definitely been interesting. It’s not quite as exciting as last year with Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey getting hurt, but racing is racing and it’s been pretty good so far.
Will you be going to the race when it comes to Toronto next week and will we be seeing you at the Loose Moose party afterwards?
I will be going to the race next weekend and I will likely be stopping by the Loose Moose after!
Well that about wraps it up, is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I’d like to thank my boyfriend from Steve Simms Racing for doing everything for me and working on my bike, my mom and dad and everyone else who is continuing to support women’s motocross.
Thanks a lot, Karly, and we hope to see you at the Toronto Supercross!
Thanks for talking with me. I really appreciate it!