Out of the Blue | Marie-Michelle Laplante | Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Marie-Michelle Laplante
Date of Birth: March 18, 1985
Hometown: Sainte-Rose (New Brunswick) now lives in Thetford Mines (Quebec)
School and Grade or Occupation: Health Coordinator
Bike: Yamaha YZ 125
Race Club: Challenge Quebec
Class: Women C
Who got you get started in racing?
I started motocross by myself. I had no friends that took any interest in this sport. But luckily when I met my boyfriend I met someone with who I can share my passion with. He pushed me a lot to improve my skills. He also introduced me to snow biking which is another sport I want to focus on.
As a little girl, were you a ‘girly’ girl or a ‘tomboy?’
I was a little bit of both. I did a whole lot of horseback riding when I was a kid so I quickly learned to get my hands dirty (laughs).
Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto?
I think every female rider is paving the way for the next generation.
As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer doesn’t?
Women in general don’t have the same strength and endurance of men, and bikes can be heavy ( even more when they have a snow bike kit on them). It does affect your performance and [improvement] in the sport.
Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?
No difference, really, as long has it’s a good riding partner with whom we can mutually push each other!
Who is your favourite female rider and why?
Kassie Boone, a Canadian FMX rider, and Megan Griffiths, a Canadian Enduro rider. Both of these riders have crazy skills and technique.
Is there a racer you look up to and why?
It will probably sound cheesy, but to name anyone else would be a lie. I really look up to my boyfriend Steel Cutter. He’s a FMX rider and I see all the effort he put in it every day, the training, and always working on improving his skills. He taught me to believe in myself and never give up!
Do you have a “can’t miss” race, or event that you try to attend every season?
The Parc X-Tring end of the season party, of course!
Who is your hero?
Christina Vithoulkas. She was an inspiring FMX rider, she’s been hitting the ramp for few years now but had an awful accident this fall that left her paralyzed. The way she handled the situation was just awesome, she remained positive, and is now looking to get back on a bike and will probably be jumping the ramp again. She showed me real determination and motivation.
What are your plans and goals for the 2019 season?
My goals are to work on my technique, be more aggressive and gain more speed. But I also want to wheelie more than 10 feet and learn how to seat bounce.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
This summer I was able to clear some pretty decent jumps I couldn’t do before.
What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?
The importance to stay focused. That the only person I need to beat is myself. I know it is not really race like to say that, but I am my biggest challenge and I find that I improve much better when I am more focused on me.
Most female racers leave the sport much earlier then male racers. Why do you think that is?
I don’t know, really. Many people mention that it’s maybe because they have kids, but I know women with kids that still ride, so I don’t think motherhood is an obstacle to riding.
Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?
Female riders are physically not as strong and don’t have the same endurance as male riders and the Supercross is much more difficult than the regular motocross track. So my answer is no, but that doesn’t mean that women won’t take a bigger place in motocross. It would be interesting to eventually see a class for female riders at the Supercross! We see more and more talented women athletes in this sport.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
It will be up to them.
Who do you want to thank?
My boyfriend Steel Cutter, for always giving me advise, tips, being there for me and letting me use his snow bike!!! Big Thanks to: West End Sports, MD Distribution, XM Sport, Parc X-Tring, JJM Entertainment, Timbersled Quebec and KM Photography thank you all for supporting me in this crazy journey and also a big thanks to Jeff McConkey and Direct Motocross!