Out of the Blue | Andrea Barnett | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Andrea Barnett

Date of Birth: July 31, 1989

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

School/Grade or Occupation: Photographer Walt Disney Company

Race Number: 46

Bike: CRF 250

Classes: Womens 12+

This week, we feature Andrea Barnett (Yes, that Barnett!) from Orlando, Florida. | David Lando photo

Who got you into the sport of motocross and what is it that keeps you in it?

My father (Mark Barnett) was a big pro motocross racer in the 80s, so you could say I was born into motocross, although I did not ride or race much growing up. I started riding PWs but stopped shortly after because my father was rarely home, he was building the Supercross tracks at the time, and racing was never really taken seriously, it was always for fun!

When I was about 18 years old I started riding again which led me to meeting my husband, my best friends, and brought my brother and I closer together, and they are what keep me riding my dirt bike!

When not on a dirt bike, how do you keep yourself busy?

I work full time for the Walt Disney Company as a photographer and product designer. I am also a freelance photographer and videographer where I do a lot of work in the motocross industry. I am currently working with the Manluk Merge Rock River Yamaha Racing team and Alex Martin (Troll Train!) getting content for the 2021 AMA SX and MX season.  When I am not doing those things, which is very rare, I like to travel to hike with my dogs and play video games!

As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?

I think the hardest obstacle I deal with as female racer is that it’s probably overlooked by many is staying motivated to race with so few women riders. Most local races, at least in the states, we will be lucky to have more than 3 women show up. Even when women do show up, the skill levels are so vast, you find yourself not really racing anyone. Most of the women who do race, are very fast national-level riders and take racing very seriously, which is great but can be discouraging for any females who race for fun or have just started racing as an adult.  

Being Mark Barnett’s daughter, Andrea was born into the sport. | Photo supplied

Who is your all-time favourite rider and why?

Ashley Fiolek. Not only is her story incredible but she is an amazing person and a friend. I admire what she did for women’s motocross during her career and how she took a stand and stopped racing due to lack of support in the AMA WMX series. She still supports women’s motocross by hosting training camps and attending women’s motorcycle riding events. I am also a huge Chuck Sun fan!

What is your favourite track and why?   

Monster Mountain MX in Tallassee, Alabama. This track played a huge role in me starting riding again because it was so close to my house. The track has the best dirt, is fun for all skill levels, and has some killer elevation.

What event do you look forward to most every year? One you don’t ever want to miss?

The Winter National Olympics (Mini O’s) at Gatorback Cycle Park in Gainesville, FL has always been my favorite event. One reason is it has that nostalgia factor. Growing up before I started racing, my father would build the track and we would camp all week and spend Thanksgiving there every year. Now, as a racer, I love this event because there is always a huge turnout in the women’s class and because there aren’t qualifiers you get riders of all skill levels and a more fun, less serious vibe. I never like missing it but that makes the times I do get to go even better!  

Andrea’s favourite rider is Ashley Fiolek. | Photo supplied

Who has been your biggest inspiration/hero on and off the track?

Wow, such a tough question. There are so many people in my life that inspire me, each in their own way. Instead of naming off one person, I think it would be best illustrated if I list the qualities these people have that inspire: Willingness to step outside of their comfort zone to follow their dreams, not being scared to take chances, doing something knowing you are going to fail or lose, being open-minded and accepting of everyone’s flaws, opinions and point of views.

Do you have any pre-moto rituals?     

Nope! I just try to remember that I am out here to have fun!

Tell us about your 2020 race season and your plans for 2021.

As for most people, the 2020 race season was pretty low-key. I did attend a Loretta Lynn’s Regional where I placed 13th (top 6 qualify) and really tried to focus on preparing for Mini O’s. This was the first year I did Supercross and Motocross track. Unfortunately, two weeks before the race I started dealing with some surprise health problems. Thankfully, I was able to race but did not feel my best. I still qualified for the main races and had a lot of fun battles since the women’s gate was full!

For 2021, my first race will be Day in the Dirt Down South, which I have been looking forward to since it was cancelled last year. They actually have a Women’s 30+ class which is a first for me and a man/woman switcharoo class. The next big national race I have planned will be Mini O’s in November.

Andrea works with the Canadian-backed Manluk Rock River Yamaha team and Alex Martin. | Photo supplied

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

Getting credentials and shooting the AMA Supercross series on my own. Motocross is a tight-knit sport and knowing the right people is a big part of how it works. I wanted to get photo credentials because my photography was awesome, not because I knew the right people. After several years of improving my skills and putting my content out there I was contacted by a media outlet to do Supercross coverage for them. Obviously, it did not lead to a full-time career of my dreams and I actually did not even like shooting it as much as I thought but it was very exciting and I was happy I was able to achieve that goal.   

I haven’t had many accomplishments riding, I mostly have a lot of failed goals, races where I did not finish as good as I wanted or injuries that really slowed me down. Lol. BUT that is one great thing about riding dirt bikes, even after all letdowns, it is still fun and I still love doing it. There are not many things in life that can constantly push you down but are that much fun where you keep coming back again and again!

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

Motocross has taught me a couple of things in very indirect ways. Haha. The most important thing it has made me realize is how important it is as an adult to have your own personal goals, hobbies and something that constantly gives you challenges to overcome. I am fortunate to have moto and photography to do those things for me but many people do not and I’ve seen how it can really make one feel like they are missing something big in life.

Andrea’s plan is to race in Canada this year or next. | David Lando photo

Do you ever see yourself coming to race the Canadian women’s nationals?

YES! I have made some awesome Canadian friends who have convinced me to make the trip up soon, hopefully 2021-2022.  Plus, I would really like some ketchup chips.

Who would you like to thank?

Motosport.com, CanvasMX, Miles Atkinson- trainer, personal photographer, mechanic and husband , Kelsey Fox for keeping me race motivated, my mother for always being supportive, my brother Adam, ActiveRide, Joel at FMF, Alex Martin, David Lando (WFO Production), Vitalyte Sports Nutrition, and the Amyotte Family. 

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