Out of the Blue | Valérie Fortin | Schrader’s

By Jeff McConkey

Presented by Schrader’s.

Name: Valérie Fortin
Date of Birth: October 25th, 1999
Hometown: St-Georges, Quebec
School and Grade or Occupation: Just finished college and will begin university in September. Actually, I am working in schools as a dance/cheerleading teacher and also working at my favourite gym.
Number: 525
Bike: 250 SX-F
Race Club: Challenge Quebec
Class: Women B

This week we feature Quebec racer #525 Valérie Fortin. | Fortin photo

Who got you get started in racing?

My father, for sure. He did some races when he was younger and hooked me up to motorsports at age of 3. He showed me the way and I just kept going.

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

I was definitely girly…But with a tomboy taste. My biggest dream was to be a Disney character while I was playing in the mud. (Laughs)

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

I would say Jolene Van Vugt. I was watching her in Nitro Circus when I was younger and secretly hoping to be like her when I grew up. Hannah Hodges also helps women a lot with her performances at the Monster Energy Cup.

Valérie credits Jolene Van Vugt and Hannah Hodges as major influencers in Women’s Moto. | KM Photography photo

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

Definitely. Bikes are approximately the double of our weight. Also, most of the girls are smaller than the boys so we tend to struggle a lot to raise the dirt bike when we fall. In general, boys are also stronger than most of us so they have no problem starting their bikes with both feet in the middle of a mud hole in a race, but, for my part, I can’t be more grateful
to have an electric starter.

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

Right now, I am only racing against girls but I really like to challenge myself with some boys a
little faster than me. I would like to race against them one day for sure.

Who is your favourite female rider and why?

Eve Brodeur. She’s a model of consistency and perseverance. She is super positive and gives back to others. She is also the one who showed me how to pull holeshots (along with Roxanne Murray).

Is there a racer you look up to and why?

Ryan Dungey, without any hesitation. Even if he is retired, he is still my all-time favourite rider. He was a smart, fast and persevering racer. He did everything possible to reach his dream.

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

Last summer was my first experience with racing so I don’t have a ‘can’t miss’ race but any events in MX Tring-Jonction are my favourites.

“My biggest accomplishment right now would be to have finished college with good grades, but in motocross, I would say it is the Supercross race at the Videotron Center.” | Mark of the Warrior photo

What are your plans and goals for the 2019 season?

My main goal is to be faster and more aggressive on my bike. I am training hard to be at my best this summer. I am planning to make some races, but also would like to race a Supercross event like I did last year. For the upcoming year, I went up to a faster class which will be a real challenge for me. Racing against faster people will force me to twist the throttle even more and learn new techniques if I want to follow them. I’m going to have a blast!

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

My biggest accomplishment right now would be to have finished college with good grades, but in motocross, I would say it is the Supercross race at the Videotron Center.

What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?

This sport has taught me a lot so far, but hard work pays off for sure!

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

I think it is because they decide to have kids!

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

I would like to say yes, but I don’t think so. The boys are genetically different than us. It’s hard to be as aggressive as the boys.

Watch for Valérie at the races in 2019 as she moves up a class and hopes to race another Supercross. | Jeff Whaling photo

If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?

Only if they want to. I would like to have a family like mine right now. My parents and my brother and riding with me. It is our main family activity in summer — pretty cool. I would never force them, but I’d rather pass my whole weekends at the track instead of being in a hockey arena.

Who do you want to thank?

First of all, I would like to thank my parents. I would not be able to do this sport if they we’re not there supporting and pushing me. I would also like to thank my sponsors: GSFracing.com, Gamma Powersports, Dark Side tattoo inc., GRT suspension, E-Sticky Graphics, KM Photography, Isolation Jacques et Frères, Azur – Bar à ongles et soins esthétiques, Parc X-Tring and Parts Canada.