Out of the Blue | Chelsea Newsome | Brought to You by Schrader’s
By Jensen Amyotte
Name: Chelsea Newsome
Date of Birth: February, 1998
Hometown: Williamstown, South Australia
Occupation: Operating Theatre Nurse
Race Number: 10
Bike: 2013 Yamaha YZ250F
Race Club: Atujara MCC
Classes: Women’s Open
Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross and how long have you been racing/riding?
My family inspired me to start racing. Both my dad and grandad competed in off road events both on solo bikes and sidecars, so growing up there were always motorbikes in our shed. I first started riding bikes when I was 10 years old and my first bike was a Suzuki JR80. My first race was at 13 years old where I competed in off road/enduro-style events on my Yamaha YZ85. I was 15 years old before I started racing motocross, both on an 85cc and a 250cc. I also have had the opportunity to be a passenger on a motocross sidecar as well.
When not on a dirt bike, how do you keep yourself busy? Are you involved in any other sports or extracurricular activities?
At this stage in my life, I try to spend as much time on the bike as I can. This year’s plans will be the most I’ve rode in many years due an injury, studying at university, and working. In the past, I use to play netball alongside racing. Planning has been hard due to my job, and having to be on-call.
As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?
In my time competing there have been a few instances where I have certainly felt the difference in being a female competitor. When I first started, the female class sizes were a lot smaller, barely enough and often not enough to even have the class recognized at state level. Now though, the class sizes have definitely increased which is amazing to see so many females becoming involved in the sport. I think social media definitely has contributed to this as it’s a lot easier for people to reach out or discover other female racers and look to trying the sport for themselves.
From your first ride to where you are now, what is something you never thought you would be able to overcome but have?
Looking back, if you told my 10-year-old self that I would have competed in one of Australia’s biggest off-road events, the Hattah Desert Race, there’s no way I would have believed you. It’s so important to reflect on where you started and your journey because it’s so easy to get caught up and forget all the amazing experiences that motorcycling can bring you.
Tell us about your 2022 race season.
This season I’m looking to get back on the bike more often and start competing again at a club level locally to gain more experience and get my confidence back on the bike after having a number of years off due becoming injured from a crash in 2016, and then beginning university study and now working.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
My biggest and favourite achievement to date would have to be my 3rd place in the Junior girl’s class at the Hattah Desert Race in 2014. I never imagined I would have been in the position to achieve a podium at a national race. I have also been able to podium in South Australian Women’s Motocross, Off-Road (Senior and Junior) and win a Dirt Track state title, as well as podium in a Victorian Dirt Track state title also.
What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far?
Setbacks happen, learn from it and move forward. This is easier said than done in both sport and life, but racing/riding is unpredictable. Learning from mistakes or misfortunes and using it to improve is important.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope to be racing more often competing in state titles again both motocross and off-road as well as ticking off some bucket list rides such as MX nationals, Finke Desert Race and undertaking some adventure riding.
Are there any females out there who you feel have paved the way for other girls to be successful in motocross or off road?
Growing up I looked up to riders such as Ashley Fiolek, Megan Rutledge, Jess Gardiner, and Jemma Wilson. Seeing what they were able to achieve was amazing and the voice they started for female racers was amazing. I have had the opportunity, many years ago, to meet Jess at an Australian Off-Road event where she went out of her way to come and introduce herself to me and other female Junior riders while waiting to compete. Her encouragement and enthusiasm was incredible.
What kind of track/dirt do you feel you excel at most and why?
I love trying new things. I love sand riding, dirt tack, mx tracks, enduro tracks. Anywhere I can spend time on the bike.
If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding, what would it be?
Go for it. It’s so much fun and is so rewarding. The experiences I have had in motorcycling have been amazing. The friends you make and the places you can travel is incredible.
What was your first fear when you started riding and how did you overcome it?
I remember learning to ride and being so stressed about learning how to use the clutch and gears, which now seems quite funny. Practice, practice and more practice. Ride time is everything with learning, fitness and endurance on the bike, but also the more you ride the more fun you have, so it’s always a win-win.
What was your first race number and how did you choose it?
My first race number was 31. I chose this because it was the same as what my dad was running at that time and I wanted to match.
What do you like to do in the off season?
In Australia, the off season is in summer, so I love spending time at the beach and enjoying the holiday season, but have no fear, I have definitely spent a lot of my summers in recent years at a track. My partner races both speedway and dirt track (flat track), with speedway primarily having their season through summer, so a lot of our time is spent preparing bikes, travelling and racing.