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Q&A: Stacey Nesbitt, Canada's First National Female Motorcycle Racing Champion


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Stacey Nesbitt is Faster Than You. Get Over it.
Stacey Nesbitt

Stacey at the 2011 MotoGP races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Photo © Basem Wasef

At only 14 years old, Canadian racer Stacey Nesbitt claimed the country's first national title as a female in the Honda CBR125R Challenge. How did she pull off this feat in only her second season of racing? I caught up with Stacey and her father, Grant, to get the scoop on how this rising star has achieved so much in just two years of racing.

When did you get started?
I got started about two years ago. My sister had done it before me, and I saw how much fun she was having and wanted to give it a try. So I asked my dad, and he said, "Go think hard about this, because this isn't an inexpensive thing." So I thought about it, and a week later I said, "No, I really want to do this," so my dad bought the champion's bike, Steven Nickerson's bike. It was all kitted out, it was pretty good.

Did you have any motorcycle experience before?
No. I just got on the CBR…

So you were basically twelve when you started to ride.
Yes. Three years ago I got my license and did the last two races. Last year was my learning year, and this year I took it to the next step.

What kind of learning curve did you have going into racing?
I had to learn all the basics, like constant corner speed, throttle control, different things like that.

How did you learn them? Did you take instruction? Did you have a mentor?
Yeah, in the middle of last season I took the FAST School by Michel Mercier out of Shannonville, Ontario, and that really taught me everything. Because before that, I had just been riding the bike, you know. Changing gears, going out in the straights with the throttle, I was just riding the bike. I didn't really know what I was doing. And then I took the school, and they explained everything and I learned constant corner speed, about lean angle, and trail braking which is pretty cool. They actually had pro riders from the Canadian series like Matt McBride and Andrew Nelson as instructors, and that was really cool.

How much do you feel you bring to technique? Do you learn these things and then put your own twist on it? How do you stick to the rules?
For technique, I definitely do as I was told, because I find that I don't have enough experience yet to start putting my own little twist on it. I do what I'm told right now.

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