by JULIE CADIEUX
ST. LAZARE — Last Wednesday evening during St. Lazare’s blood drive residents and motorcycle fans had the chance to meet local resident Stacey Nesbitt, the 14-year-old Westwood High School Senior honor roll student who recently became the first female to win a national motorcycle racing series in Canada.
Nesbitt won five out of ten races over the season, including the last four which helped cement her title. This past August, 2011 Nesbitt won the first of the two final rounds of the Honda CBR125R Challenge series and entered the following day’s championship race with an impressive 28 point lead and winning by just 0.178 seconds.
The Honda CBR125R Challenge is a series of national races introduced to the Canadian Superbike Championship in 2008, following the release of the CBR125R sport bike to the Canadian market.
Not your typical sports activity for a young teen to choose, but Nesbitt is quick to point out that racing is a family affair. “I’ve been going to watch races with my family since I was little,” she says.
Nesbitt races for Statoni Racing Team, which was named after her and her 20-year-old sister, Toni Nesbitt, who raced in the 2009 and 2010 seasons but decided to take a break this past 2011 racing year to be part of her sister’s crew. Her parents are also very supportive and involved in their daughters’ passion.
Mayor Pierre Kary was there with his eight-year-old daughter Sarah to pose for a few photos and present Nesbitt with a fountain pen. “It’s one of those fancy ones!” she said happily. St. Lazare has also given her a special bursary for youths who compete at a national level. The sport is not a cheap one and the family are always looking for sponsors to help offset costs.
“Wow, I never really thought of myself as a role model!” Stacey exclaimed as she signed an autograph for a third grader. Instead, she’s focussed on what lies ahead — such as learning how to race the CBR250R. “It’s heavier and faster…I’m nervous,” she admitted.
Her mother Julie would love to see Stacey race the 250 next year. “We are waiting for Honda to make an official announcement if they will run a 250 series.”
The Hudson St-Lazare Gazette/September 14 2011/Julie Cadieux