By Jeff McConkey

Presented by Schrader’s.

Name: Penelope Mercier

Date of Birth: April 30th, 2002

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

School and Grade or Occupation: De La Salle High school, grade 11

Number: 966

Bike: Honda CRF 150

Race Club: FMSQ

Class: Dame Débutante

This week we feature Penelope Merier from Ottawa, ON. | Erin Aube photo

Who got you get started in racing? 

My dad was the one who got me to start racing.

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

I was ‘girly’ girl.

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

I think that as a female racer I get taken less seriously than the male racers do. 

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

I enjoy racing against female riders better because I find that women will be more careful with other riders around them and the competition level is just as much as the guys.

Who is your favourite female rider and why?

Her name is Félicia Robichaud. She races in the men’s classes. She went out of her comfort zone to race against the guys. She had to fight her way in that category and finishes her races.

 Is there a racer you look up to and why?

I look up to the racer Natasha Lachapelle because even though the race might be hard or she might get injured, she is pushing herself to finish her race.

“This season season I am looking to improve my skill level and to be a better racer in general.” | Chantal Larivée photo

Who is your hero?

My dad. He is the one who got me into racing and 2 seasons ago he had to get a surgery. He was back on the bike the next season.

What are your plans and goals for the 2019 season?

This season season I am looking to improve my skill level and to be a better racer in general.

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

Starting my own photography company.

What is the biggest lesson that Motocross racing /Off Road has taught you so far?

Once you’re in the woods, you are alone for the most part of the race. So it truly is about your self-confidence and pushing yourself to new levels you didn’t know you could reach.

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

I think a woman will stop racing when she will want to start a family. She might start again later on when she is older but she won’t go as hard as she used to.

Penelope looks up to Natasha Lachapelle. | Chantal Larivée photo

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

I believe there is a new generation of women riders in the industry. And yes, I believe that eventually a woman will be winning the Supercross championship.

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

Of course!

Who do you want to thank?

I want to thank my parents for the support and the help they are giving me. I also want to thank our family who are cheering me on throughout my race.