Out of the Blue | Brianna Scheltema | Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Brianna Scheltema

Date of Birth: November 17, 1999

Hometown: Caledonia, Michigan

School/Grade or Occupation: College student at Grand Rapids Community College for Business Management 

Race Number: #115

Bike: KX250f

Race Club: D14 local Michigan series and Nationals within the United States

Classes: Women’s and C classes

This week, we feature Brianna Scheltema from Caledonia, Michigan. | Seat Bounce Moto Photography

Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross? 

My sister, Lindsey, inspired me to get into the sport of motocross. She used to race and started when I was born! She quit when I was 11 so all I knew was motocross. When she quit it really made me want to get into the sport and try and be like her. My sister is always supportive and wants to be there when she can to watch me race. I wanted to be just like her when I was younger. Now she wants the best for me and pushes me a lot to be the best.

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 biggest thing for a female is when they try to race against the men’s classes. I feel as though I’m a target because guys are intimidated to get beat by a girl! It can be pretty funny though, especially when parents get mad at their sons because I beat them. That’s really the biggest obstacle for me is just being a target against the men in the C classes.

What is your favourite track and why?

My favorite track in Michigan would be Big Air Motocross in Newaygo. It is by far my favorite! It’s a local track that always gets a great turnout. The owners are amazing and they do a great job working on the track. I love the jumps the most and how rough the track gets on race days.

My favorite National track in the US would be Loretta’s! I know a lot of people would disagree with me, but I love how technical the track is, how deep the ruts get, and how rough it is. The track really puts riders to the test to see who has been training and who hasn’t. 

I started at 11 and was not about the whole jumping part. I was super slow and didn’t like to go super fast and I knew I had to go faster than what I was comfortable going to hit jumps.” | Seat Bounce Moto Photography

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

My 2020 race season went super well other than the Amateur National at Loretta’s. I struggled that week which really bummed me out. I definitely was hoping for a top 10 going into that week, but I’m hoping for that for this year! I did almost all the amateur nationals last year and felt as though I placed good in those races.

This year I have qualified for the Amateur National again at Loretta’s for my 6th year in a row! I’m training currently for that. Other than Loretta’s I will do the rest of the amateur nationals like I did last year and do a few local D14 races.

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

Winning my first Championship at Ponca in 2018! That was the first National race I had ever won so that was a huge accomplishment for me, especially since it was my first time beating the girl who almost won.

Brianna would love to come north to race our series. | Seat Bounce Moto Photography

What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far?

Never give up. No matter what happens don’t give up on yourself and your talent! Bad days happen and you can get through them. Don’t let them ruin your day, weekend, or week. Some days are gonna be worse than others, but it’s those days where I work harder because of how frustrated I am. Always work hard for your goals because it might take time to achieve them, but when it happens it’ll be the best feeling in the world! 

What kind of track/dirt do you feel you excel at most and why? 

Michigan tracks are mostly hard packed so I would say I feel as thought I excel at hard pack the most. It’s what I am used to and what I ride the most. I do enjoy sand tracks though as well. I also have to like them because when we stay in Florida, the only tracks that are close to us are sand tracks so I do tolerate them. They just are not my favorite. I think the biggest reason I am not a huge fan of sand tracks is because they get ruts up the faces of jumps which intimidates me.

If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding what would it be?

Always have fun. If it’s not fun then don’t ride! You need to be having fun in whatever sport you do. My parents told me in the beginning that if this sport was ever not fun that they wanted me to tell them because what’s the point if I didn’t enjoy it. I ended up loving it when they thought I would hate it. (Only because I fell at least 2-4 times ever single lap my first time on a track) I came off the track beaming with joy! Having fun is the most important thing in riding. 

Brianna won her first championship at Ponca City in 2018. | Seat Bounce Moto Photography

What was your first fear when you started riding and how did you overcome it? 

Jumping anything! I was super scared because I started really late. I started at 11 and was not about the whole jumping part. I was super slow and didn’t like to go super fast and I knew I had to go faster than what I was comfortable going to hit jumps. It definitely took a while but my confidence came with how much I rode. I overcame my fear at a SJO fair race when a tiny double was making me have to slow down. Finally, I went out there and hit it! Ever since then I haven’t been that scared of jumps. It takes a while to get the fear out, but once you do it, it’s super fun. 

What was your first race number and how did you choose it?

My first race number was #115 and I chose it because it was the number that came on my first KX85. I had no idea what number I wanted to be, but when we bought the bike, the number just stuck with me and I’ve been #115 ever since 2011.

Do you see yourself ever competing in the Canadian WMX Triple Crown series? 

I would definitely want to try and make it up for a couple of rounds! Since there is no US WMX right now I have thought about trying it. The only issue is that I am still racing in the C classes, but once I decide to move up I would definitely make time to go to some rounds. I’m really happy that the Canadian WMX has been able to stick around.

Brianna has punched her ticket to Loretta’s again for the 6th year in a row. | Seat Bounce Moto Photography

What do you like to do in the off season? 

I love to sit on the beach!! I don’t really have an off season because we stay in Florida for the winters and Michigan in the summers so I can ride year round. When I’m not riding though I love to relax at the beach, go swim, and go on walks. When I fly home to Michigan in the winter though, I do love to snowboard. I go with friends a couple times a year and it is definitely a fun and different thing to do outside of racing. 

Who would you like to thank? 

I would love to thank my sponsors: Team Babbitts, Team Babbitts Privateer Program, Fox Racing, Mobius Knee Braces, Decal Works, Dunlop, FMF, Engine Ice, Ryno Power, Race120 (my mechanic), RideBraap Clothing, ASV, and Seat Bounce Moto Photography!