Out of the Blue: Vanessa Paquette
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Vanessa Paquette
Birthday: April 10, 1994
Hometown: Blainville, Québec
School & Grade or Occupation: I’m close to finishing my DEC at college in Graphic Design this spring and I’ve worked as a Graphic Designer at Kutvek Amerika for two years.
Bike: 2014 KTM sxf 250
Race Club: In the spring, I will do a couple of races in the Western New York series. I will do the provincials in Quebec this summer and I will race the whole Women’s East Nationals. I will go to the national at Madoc too. I love this track.
Classes: My classes are Women and Junior
How did you get started in racing?
I saw a friend of mine racing motocross. I had spent the entire day watching every race and when I saw the women race I was really impressed and I told myself I would really like to be there with them. The next year, my dad bought me my first motocross bike and I started to race that year.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
I am a sportswoman and competitive girl since my early age. When I was younger, I had played basketball, hockey and soccer. But when I was 16 years old, I had started doing motocross and I knew at this moment that it would be my sport. Since then, I have put a lot of time on it, but especially this year.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
For sure. Boys don’t like when they got passed by a girl, and there are so many more men than women in this sport. But most of them are really nice with us. I can promise you, we love this sport as much as they love it!
Who is your favourite rider and why?
My favourite rider is James Stewart. I love his riding style and he is always the only one to try crazy things on the track. He is a nice gentleman with his fans, and I like that.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
I had started racing 2 years before the women’s national had been canceled during the men’s nationals. Since that year, I saw a couple of girls fighting to have a women’s national and they try so hard to find sponsors and to have an awesome national. I am thankful because, without them, I’m sure there would not have been a women’s national. A big thank you to all of them and everybody who worked hard to save women’s MX riding/riders.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
Kaven Benoit, of course, because he is a Quebecer and he won the nationals this year. He works hard and he’s a role model for all of us.
What is your favourite track and why?
My favourite track is Gatorback in Florida. I like natural and hardpack track and I love the flow of this track. In Canada, my favourite track is Madoc. It’s a hardpack track too. I love this track because it’s a fast track and there are a lot of nice jumps. The jumps are kind of big but not too dangerous.
Who is your hero?
My parents! They are the reason why I can live my passion. Without them, I couldn’t race that much. They help me in everything, they support me, they love traveling with me doing races everywhere. Without them, all of that couldn’t be possible.
What are your goals for next season?
My goal for next season is doing a top 10 in the Women’s East Nationals. I also want to do a top 5 in the MMRS Madoc National.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
My biggest accomplishment is probably my 8th position at the Madoc National last year. I won the Amateur East Nationals in Women’s B at my first year at Deschambault. It was the first time I won and I was so proud.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
I love the feeling I have when I race. It’s many emotions at one time, but it’s the best feeling in the world. When I race, I think about nothing except what I have to do to pass another girl or choosing the best lines, or just having fun. I can push my limits. I love this sport.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
I have another passion, snowboarding. I do a lot of snowboarding during winter so I can practice both of my passions the whole year. I do cycling at home during winter and I go to the gym to getting ready for the next season. During the summer, when I don’t race, I practice with my friends. We have a lot of fun.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/husband, or just a bonus?
It’s a bonus of course, because you can live your passion together. If your boyfriend is a motocross racer, he can help you. But the most important thing is having a boyfriend that you can share this passion with him.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
I would love to do motocross with my future family, but, if they don’t like it, I will not push them to do it. However, I will buy them little bike and see if they will like it as much as I love it!
Who do you want to thank?
I want to thank Duroy Racing, Kutvek Amerika, PLX Sport, Protection Incendie Viking, KB5, Taillefer Motosports, Brodeur Racing, Troy Lee Designs, JP Paquette Photographie, and a big thank you to my father Benoit and my mother Nathalie because without them none of those things could be possible.