Vicki Golden Will Attempt to Qualify for East Lites SX in 2015 – Reactions
By Jeff McConkey
As most of you are aware, female rider, Vicki Golden, will be racing the 250 East SX for 2015. I hit up a few different people from the moto community to get their thoughts, concerns and predictions. Let’s hear what they think:
Mitch Cooke (Retired Canadian MX Star and Former SX Racer for Blackfoot Honda)
My first thought when I heard she was going to try SX was that it was the perfect marketing ploy to give herself extra exposure. I really don’t think she has a hope of qualifying for a night show. Pretty much anybody can jump a triple or jump through a simple rhythm section, but to try do it with any real speed is another story. I don’t think she has the strength or skill to be able to charge the corners, then charge into the jumps and whoops and then add ruts and kickers on top of that! I, personally, found SX very tough and TV does not do it any justice.
Braydon McNeil (GP Bikes KTM)
My views on Vicki Golden racing supercross? I think it is awesome for girls who race or just ride dirt bikes. I believe it is a huge foot in the door for women to prove that they have the speed to run up there with some of the best riders in the world. Just like anyone, I am a little bit sceptical on how she is going to do, and I think it is going to be very hard running the pace that the Pros are at, and how aggressive they are. Also, I don’t know how it’s going to go down if there is any confrontation with other riders and her. I hope she doesn’t pull the “well, I’m a girl” card. I believe she is a very good rider and I think she is going to open a lot of people’s eyes and all the ladies will have a new favourite rider to cheer for as well as males. It should be interesting and we will see how this is going to play out.
Good for her for getting this far !
Jeff Mort (Retired Privateer SX Racer and ‘King Of The After Party’)
I was just sitting here the other day pondering on what possibly could be as interesting on the East Coast as the racing we have seen so far on the West. Then it hit me this morning, just after the text from you, Vicki Golden! I think what she is doing is good for our sport and I think she will surprise a lot of people. The chick can ride, there is no doubt about that. She went through all the proper channels to get her Pro card, and probably did more bar banging than they let Chad (Reed)do just the other week. The accomplishments she has to put on her resume are already impressive, and she has shown she is not afraid to compete with the guys. It’s going to be interesting to see how the guys ride around her. When she is putting faster lap times in than you, do you get angry and take her out, or be cautious because she’s a girl?
By the looks of it, she looks like she is faster than I ever was in SX, so in my shoes I’d just road block her so no one could make fun of me too bad at the bar after the race. Being that I rode Supercross a handful of times, I think the hardest thing to adapt to is a completely new track and timed practice secessions. Unlike my program, it looks like she has had access to track time on Supercross tracks and isn’t running moto suspension. Those two things right there, I think, are the most important keys to her success.
At the end of the day in Dallas, I think we will see her in the night show or just off qualifying. This is the biggest stage she has competed on, but I think she has an advantage on the other rookie riders. With the X Games and a few other big events, she has competed in front of tens of thousands of people before and has handled the event and the media attention very well. I hope she is able to accomplish a few night shows this year and build from there, and that will give other upcoming female riders encouragement to do so also!
Heidi Cooke (The Best Canadian Lady Racer of All Time)
Hey, Jeff. To be completely honest, I have not heard much about this but I find it very intriguing that she is going for it…. My first reaction is, “Holy shit, what is she thinking!?!” but I gave it a little more thought and realized that it isn’t her that will be a problem, it will be the men that she may potentially beat that are about to have their egos crushed. Mind you, I personally do not think she is going to blaze it up out there but I saw her ride indoors a few times and she certainly knows what she is doing! She will create a good buzz around herself and likely do okay at a few rounds. I’m not sure about night show, but, at the very least, battle and make a mark for females!
Her lining up with these guys is a huge risk let alone the commitment she needed prior to the decision to ride the east coast. She is making a living doing what she loves…enough said! She continues to line herself up against the best making herself one of the best! I literally can talk about this kind of stuff for hours, but I’m ending it on a “Good for her” and there is no reason she shouldn’t try…is there?
Danika White (National #10 West)
It’s wicked to hear that Vicki Golden is going to be trying to qualify for the 250 east coast series. It’s such an awesome achievement to be able to be competing at that level, male or female. Good on her to go for her Pro card and make it happen. There’s A LOT of fast individuals this year and the field is pretty stacked. It’s already hard to call a top ten with names like Martin, Bogle, Davalos, Musquin, and the Pro Circuit boys.
Looking at the west coast and how fast and consistent you have to be, it’s going to be pretty intimidating to anyone. The difference between the podium and 15th is determined by hundredths of a second a lap – THAT’S CRAZY! Hopefully, she makes it into the night show! That’s a lifetime goal for many and only a few can make it happen. I’ve seen a couple of her training videos and she looks strong and fast out there. But I guess we’ll see when the east coast kicks off!
Cassandra Belanger (National #4 East)
Definitely not missing any rounds of the East SX series. Mainly because I want to see Vicki Golden race and try to qualify for the main event. This is so exciting for everyone, I think, but mostly for girls – younger and older ones. It is inspiring, and we all know that everyone woman who races motocross is going to be watching her the very first time she is going to be out there.
It’s definitely going to be interesting to see a woman on the track with all that testosterone in the air. I am not only curious about the actual performance, but also the way the guys are going treat her on the track. I totally believe there is a chance for her to qualify for the main event if she stays focused as she usually does. I saw her practicing with the guys on the SX track in Lake Elsinore and I was totally impressed by her confidence, and the way she was going through the sections so easily and smooth. (The only part she was skipping were the whoops section, but I am sure she got that figured out 😉 )
I am wishing her the best and, as everyone else, I’ll be standing in front of my screen to watch her perform and whatever happens, I will use this as inspiration.
Jillian Kings (Lady National Racer and ‘Off Road Badass’)
I think Vicki racing SX is going to be very interesting. Will she qualify? Will she get injured? Is she a factor in the series? I have never seen her race in person, and, to be honest, I haven’t followed her career very closely at all. But Google is a wonderful thing. I’ll give her credit where credit is due. She’s fast. Achieving 6-4-5 overall in the WMX series in 2009-2011, and she has had some epic success at X Games. She completed the ‘Road to Supercross’ last year, and has been training and riding to compete in the full series in East Lites SX Series for 2015. I love when women do things that men do, in men’s classes.
That being said, when women do this, my expectations of them is extremely high. As a racer and race enthusiast, I am realistic in the obvious limitations that plague women racers. We, as a group of lady races, are not quite there. Call me a hater, but let’s be realistic, those girls are getting faster but they are nowhere near men’s SX speed yet. Vicki, as a rider, really hasn’t logged a lot of wins. She hasn’t raced a whole bunch professional races, especially compared to such epic riders such as Ashely Fiolek, or Jessica Patterson. These girls, they won races and series. These girls, in my opinion, are the ones that should have or have had this opportunity. I think that this is a pretty big step for a girl that may not have the credentials or experience to compete at this level.
My hope for Ms. Golden is that she qualifies for the night show within the first 2 or 3 rounds. I also hope that she qualifies for a main, but I don’t think she will. I hope she has some epic, non-doping, magic up here sleeve. What the woman have done, not only in Canada (Thanks, Denaye (Arnett), Camille (Bunko) and posse!!) but in the USA as well, is work extremely hard for women to be taken seriously as racers and I hope more than anything this show doesn’t make her or us, as women racers, look bad.
Whichever side of this situation you sit on, it will, no doubt, be one of the most-covered stories of the eastern rounds this season. All we can do is wish her luck then sit back and watch what happens in Texas February 14th.
Good luck, Vicki.