Out of the Blue | Janelle Bartlett | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jeff McConkey

‘Out of the Blue’ is brought to you by Schrader’s

Name: Janelle Bartlett

Birthday: April 25, 1994

Hometown: Edmonton, AB

Occupation: Waitress

Number:  12

Bike: 2014 KTM 150XC


Classes: Ladies, Under 30 Novice, GP Beginner, Vet Junior

This week’s ‘Out of the Blue’ column features Edmonton racer, #12 Janelle Bartlett | Momma Bartlett photo

How did you get started in racing?

My dad raced in the late 80’s and early 90’s but stopped when my sister and I were very young and turned to strictly trail riding. My sisters and I started riding trails when I was about 13 for fun on long weekends with a bunch of other families. Then, in 2013 my dad raced in one of the last races of the season and my sisters and I went to watch. The next year he and my younger sister started racing, and then in 2015 I joined them. 
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?

I’ve been around bikes my whole life and started trail riding when I was fairly young. I never thought I would race, though. I remember when my younger sister first started getting into racing I thought it was so boring to just ride around in a circle doing the same thing. Man, was I wrong. 
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?

I don’t think so. I think if you want something enough and work hard enough any girl can go out there and kick ass!
Who is your favourite rider and why?

My favourite rider would probably be Rudi Zacsko Jr. He’s so smooth and fun to watch and still goes out with guys 30 years younger than him and kicks ass. He’s been a real mentor and good friend for my family in the last couple years and I feel that he’s definitely helped me improve my skills on the track.
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 there are tons. Every girl that goes out to the races, or in any way helps promote and support women’s racing is helping to pave the way because we still have so much room to grow and expand.

Canadian legend, Rudi Zacsko Jr., has been a big help with the Bartlett sisters. Janelle’s sister, #24 Samantha, finished 13th in the series. | Momma Bartlett photo

What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?

I don’t really look up to any Pros. I actually look up to the people that aren’t super well sponsored but still manage to make it to all the races, even though sometimes they may not even qualify to compete much more. That kind of dedication and commitment is something that inspires me.

What is your favourite track and why?

I don’t have one specific favourite track. If you asked me two years ago I would know but I’ve been branching out in the clubs I race with so I’m going to tons of new tracks all the time. If I had to pick though my top 3 would be Antler Lake, Wild Rose MX, and Swan Hills.

Who is your hero?

I have two: both my parents. My mom is such an impressive woman and has dived head first into our racing. She works 2 jobs and revolves her time off on coming to my races and supporting my sister and me. She is always trying to help any way she can, sometimes that being to yell at me to go when I fall in a race. 

My dad is one of my favourite people in the whole world; we do a ton of stuff together and he’s so much help to me on and off the track. He is constantly pushing me and helping me be the best version of myself. He goes above and beyond for me and I couldn’t be more thankful for him and my mom.

What are your goals for this season?
I really want to work on my lap speed and working on getting my technique dialed in. I still have a lot of room to improve and I want to work to become the best I can.  
What are your biggest accomplishments?
Being able to go to the whole Western National circuit this year is a pretty big accomplishment for me so far. 
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
My favourite part is having a second family you get to see. I have made so many good friends in the last 3 years and being able to be together all doing something you love is the best.

Janelle raced all 4 rounds of the Women’s West MX Nationals in 2017 | Momma Bartlett photo

What do you like to do when you aren’t racing? 

Spending time with my family and my friends, I love camping, I really like being lazy, and I’m really good at spending money.

Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/partner, or just a bonus?

I think as long as you’re with someone that supports you and encourages you there’s really nothing else you can ask for. 
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers ?

If they didn’t want to then of course they wouldn’t have to, but if I ever have kids they’ll be on a bike as soon as I can get them on one.

Who do you want to thank?

My parents, my sisters, Rudi Zacsko Jr., Tom Ostrem, Riverside Motorsports, my work, and everyone that supports me and has helped me in any way in the last 3 years.