Out of the Blue | Karine Belisle | Schrader’s

By Jeff McConkey

Presented by Schrader’s.

Name:  Karine Belisle
Date of Birth: 08-05-1985
Hometown:  Mirabel, Quebec
School and Grade or Occupation: Financial Director
Number: 243
Bike: Husqvarna 150
Race Club: FMSQ
Class: Women Pro

This week we feature #243 Karine Belisle from Mirabel, Quebec. | Le8jpierre photo

Who got you get started in racing?

A good friend of mine was riding a dirt bike so I decided to buy one as well to ride with her. Two weeks later, there was an Endurocross race in my hometown. I was curious, so I figured I would try competing at an entry level for fun. I loved the experience even if the race was very demanding.

As a little girl, were you a ‘girly’ girl, or a ‘tomboy?’

As a little girl I was more of a tomboy. I never liked playing with girl’s stuff.

Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto or off road?

In Quebec, I believe that Cindy Trudel paved the road for aspiring female racers. She was one of the first women to have sponsorships. She gave exposure to female racers and encouraged women to ride. There were only a few women racers back in 2004. Today, we notice a lot more categories for women as well as many more female riders in MX as well as Endurocross.

As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer doesn’t?

We are obviously not as strong physically as men and we are not as enduring. Also, some of us (like me) who’ve had kids must take extended breaks after pregnancies etc. It is always a challenge to make up for lost time when coming back.

Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?

I mostly practice with men but I prefer riding with women. I find it motivating to ride against female riders that are faster than me. It pushes my limits and drives me to continue improving and getting better.

Karine is pretty booked for off-road racing but she wants to compete in at least 1 MX event in 2019. | Richard Lavallé photo

Who is your favourite female rider and why?

There are many female riders in Quebec that I look up to, namely Eve Brodeur,
Cindy Trudel, Félicia Robichaud. These girls are filled with determination and
they never give up. Despite the age factor and injuries, they keep pushing their limits.

Is there a racer you look up to and why?

Ken Roczen. First of, he is very good. I admire people who are resilient with
strong personalities.

Do you have a ‘can’t miss’ race, or event that you try to attend every season?

My riding schedule is fully booked from the very beginning of the season. I am ready early on and never miss a race within the FMSQ circuit and try to compete in at least 1 MX event.

What are your plans and goals for the 2019 season?

First of, I want to have fun! And then breaking the top three within women ‘women pro’ ranks. I’d also like to compete in one GNCC event.

Racing has taught Karine “Self-confidence. Also that nothing is over until someone passes the end of race flag.” | Le8jpierre photo

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

Being a mother of two and having been able to juggle work and family life to live my passion and still manage to improve each and every season.

What is the biggest lesson that Motocross racing /off road has taught you so far?

Self-confidence. Also that nothing is over until someone passes the end of race flag.

Most female racers leave the sport much earlier then male racers. Why do you think that is?

I can understand completely! It is very demanding to manage work and family life with the hardship that racing requires.

Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?

Nothing is impossible but it’s not likely to happen. But I would definitely like to see that.

Watch for Karine in 2019 as she tries to break the top 3 in the Pro ranks. | Le8jpierre photo

If you ever have children, will they be off road or Motocross racers?

I already have 2 children. My son Leo already competes in the FMSQ circuit like me. If one day he wants to try MX, I will continue to encourage him as much. What really matters is doing what he truly loves.

Who do you want to thank?

I would like to thank the people around me who have been supporting me for many years, especially my employer Toyota St-Eustache. I’d also like to thank my sponsors. Without all of them it would not be possible. Mathias Sports, Scott Moto Sports, Importation Thibault, Gaerne, my coach and nutritionist Jen Corbeil, EVO suspension, Twice production and CS design. Finally, I’d like to thank a person that has always been there for me and still pushes me today: my personal coach Jeremy Daudelin. I would not be here without him.