A 13-year-old motocross racer from Smithers dominated the Young Ladies (7-14) circuit in B.C. this year.
In her first competitive racing season, Peyton Belisle earned 347 out of 350 available points to win the Future West Moto BC Motocross Championship Series in her class.
She also competed against older female racers and boys finishing 13th overall in both the Ladies and 85 cc (ages 12 – 16) classes.
The result took her to the Western Canadian Amateur Nationals in Kamloops where she also won qualifying her for the Walton Grand National Championship.
She came in ninth overall at that race, which featured the fastest riders from across the country.
Belisle said her greatest sense of accomplishment was qualifying for Nationals with only one season of competition under her belt.
In fact, she first got on a dirt bike only three years ago and has only been riding seriously for the past two. She said it was sheer determination coupled with training that took her to the top.
Belisle is sponsored by MX North 54 (MXN54), a northern B.C. motocross youth development program founded by Trevor Patenaude this year that acts as a go-between for riders and industry, and provides off-track support and coaching.
In its first season, MXN54 took on 10 riders. Patenaude said Belisle’s applicaton caught their attention.
“Peyton seemed like an excellent fit, so we signed her to a one-year-contract and she spent the year representing MX North,” he said.
A former rider himself before a serious injury sidelined him, Patenaude said he has never seen anything like what Belisle accomplished.
“I think to go from your first race to lining up in the biggest race in Canada with some of the fastest riders in your class in a year, is remarkable,” he said.
Patenaude will be expanding the stable of riders this year to 35 and said he hopes Belisle will be among them.
“What we said to Jason [Belisle, Peyton’s father] is she’ll always have a home with MX North,” he said. “We’re happy to extend her. If she has other things cooking come end of the year, she’s always a part of our family regardless of whether she runs the MX North gear or the MX North graphic.”
Although pleased with her performance this year Belisle now has her sights set higher.
“I want to try, within a few years, to get on the podium in Nationals for the girls 9-16 [class],” she said.
Patenaude has no doubt she will.
“The thing about Peyton and the whole family is there’s so much drive, there’s so much attention to detail, there’s so much work ethic that that girl will set her site on a goal and I don’t care what that goal is, I don’t care what sport it’s in, just from the little time I’ve known her, she’ll achieve it, absolutely she will.”
In fact, the B.C. and Western Canadian motocross champion were not the only titles she claimed in 2019. Belisle was also the provincial champion in U13 Female Snowboard Cross.
She will be back at that come January. In the meantime, she will also be competing in Arenacross, an 8-round indoor motocross series starting Nov. 23 to Dec. 1 and concluding Jan. 31 to Feb. 7.