Out of the Blue: Valerie Fortin|Presented by Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Valerie Fortin
Birthday: October 25th, 1999
Hometown: St-Georges, Quebec
Grade: Secondary 5
Bike: 2011 250 SX-F
How did you get started in this sport?
I decided, two years ago, to buy myself a dirt bike. Finally, I fell in love with this sport and then I decided to upgrade. I started with a CRF150F, I changed to a 125 SX, and now I ride my 250F. Riding at the track is a family affair. My brother rides a 65 SX, my mom KLX140L and my dad KX250F.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
Yes, and no. When I was 4 years old, my dad bought me an ATV to ride on the grass, just for fun. He was switching them for bigger ones as I grew up. I was, at the same time, taking dance classes so I didn’t really know where I was going.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
I don’t think so because there are many classes for ladies! If a girl really feels like she can ride with boys, then she can race with them. Also, I think that riding with boys can develop self-esteem and confidence. To improve yourself, you have to ride with faster people.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
My favourite rider is Ryan Dungey. He turned pro directly from the ‘B’ class. This guy is a role model for me, he is a good example of perseverance. Although, at the age of 24, he has already won every possible title! He’s incredible, a real natural talent!
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
Eve Brodeur! She is only 16 years old and she is already one of the best mx girls! I think that she is proving to everybody that girls can ride and race too. She kicks boys ass soooooo gooooood!
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
Certainly Kaven Benoit! He rides smart, but fast. He is impressing me every time. This guy rips.
What is your favourite track and why?
I am always practicing at MX Tring-Jonction. The track is always on point, I have lots of friends riding there and it’s the closest one from my hometown. I really like to go there. Also, the tracks are nicely made for all skill levels. The owners are really nice too.
Who is your hero?
I don’t really have a hero yet!
What are your goals for this season?
I’m looking to ride safely while improving my riding techniques every time. Having fun at the track with family and friends. I don’t think I’ll start racing this summer, but maybe I’ll give it a try next year if everything goes as I wish.
One of your biggest accomplishments?
When I began riding, I fell off my bike and hurt my foot really bad. Next day, I went to school and almost same thing happened to my other foot. Instead of selling my bike, I invested in boots and new tires. I never thought about giving up. It was clear in my mind that I’ll continue riding no matter what, because I really like it.
What do you like to do when you aren’t riding?
I love to play sports. I am also a cheerleading coach.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/partner, or just a bonus?
Are you telling me that Kaven Benoit is not single? (Laughs) It is important for me to have someone who shares the same passion as me.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
Yes, I would really like if my kids ride bikes. I don’t care about passing my whole weekends at the tracks because it is what I like to do.
Who do you want to thank?
I would like to thank my mom and my dad for giving me the chance to practice this amazing sport. They are lifting me at the track, my dad gives me advice and does my bike maintenance. Without them, and everything they do, it would be impossible for me to ride and have fun as much as I am having right now. I love them so much!