Out of the Blue | Émilie Lessard | Presented by Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Émilie Lessard
Birthday: April 6th, 1994
Hometown: Sainte-Julienne, Quebec
School& Grade: Student in Occupational Therapy at University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières
Bike: Husqvarna CR 144 2011
Race Club: FMSQ (Endurocross and Enduro)
Classes: Expert Women
How did you get started in racing?
I started racing for a complete season in 2010. I raced in Beginner Women’s class with a Kx100. My dad would talk to me about Endurocross because one of his childhood friends, Chantal Robidoux, raced. She was one of the first women to ever race in the FMSQ series. I bought my first dirt bike from her. She then told us all about the sport and all the fun she had with her family and friends.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
Motocross was always a dream to me. Whenever I would ride my bicycle I would be dreaming about being on a motorcycle. I had my first dirt bike at 14 years old. When I started racing, the other girls were like heroes to me. I wasn’t expecting to be as far as I am now. It is a privilege to race with so many talented girls and I am truly grateful.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
I don’t think it’s harder for women to compete in Endurocross. We have 6 women classes at the FMSQ, so you can progress and perform at different levels. You don’t need to ride with the boys if you want to be challenged, because we have a high level of talent in the women classes and this is why I love this sport. I really like to compete with other girls and promote women racing. Since I’ve started racing there has been a big expansion of girls. There are so many women that race dirt bikes now that it’s no surprise to many industries.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
My favourite rider is certainly Amélie Lavallée #59. She is a very strong woman that won the FMSQ series in Pro ATV years ago. She had a work accident that forced her to stop ATV racing, but last year she started racing again in Side by Side. I was very happy to see her again at the La Tuque 12 Hours of Endurance.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
I think Amélie had paved the way to show that women are able to succeed in this sport. She was racing with boys and won the Endurocross championship in Pro ATV class. This proved to everyone that, even if you’re a girl, you can go as far as you want to go in the sport if you have the will to do it.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
I am looking for Ève Brodeur in WMX. She is a great rider (the best) in the Canadian series and she is doing great in the American series this year. I also look up to Philippe Chainé, FMSQ #2 Pro rider. He is a very talented rider that races GNCC in XC1 class and went to the ISDE 3 times so far. He really impresses me because of his implication for the federation and the sport. I want to encourage Quebec riders and to follow their passion.
What is your favourite track and why?
My favourite track is Chainéland at Victoriaville. It is a track in a giant field with technical woods section. It is great because you have different challenges on the track and the fast sections in the field are a challenge too. It is also very nice to go there because the camp ground is big and it has great views.
Who is your hero?
I would like to make a special mention to Marianne Brodeur and Jimmy Rotondo. They were friends of mine, talented riders and stood high for the sport with the FMSQ. We will always think of them.
What are your goals for this season?
This season will be my second in the WXC Class. I would like to finish top 5, but a more realistic goal would be to finish all my races.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
The accomplishment that I am the most proud of is my 2014 season, where I won the Intermediate Women’s Championship. It was my dream to do it and I pushed myself to accomplish it.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
My favourite part is to go camping with my friends and family. A weekend at the race means that we will be all together encouraging each other.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
I do a lot of things when I am not riding! I am now studying to become an occupational therapist and I really like taking pictures. I was taking a lot of pictures during the races and now I am trying to expand my passion to portraits and family photo shoots.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/partner, or just a bonus?
My boyfriend will race on ATV this summer and all his family members are riding motocross. It is not important for me that he can ride a bike, but it is a bonus! He understands why I love the sport and we can share the same passion and our weekends! Also, it is good to have a boyfriend that races dirt bikes, because he can help me with my mechanic (Laughs).
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
If they want it and ask for it, then yes! I won’t push them to do races if they don’t want to.
Who do you want to thank?
I would like to thank my boyfriend, Cedric, my family and my boyfriend’s family. I would also like to thank, Twisted Throttle, Scott, Martin Laporte and the FMSQ.