Rev It Up Racing (Saultsports.com) sat down with father – daughter MX team Maija Bishop – Dewar and Kevin Bishop to discuss Maija’s first season as a rookie riding quad MX in Northern Ontario and Upper Michigan in 2015. Maija is an 18 year student at White Pines Secondary in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.
What has been your most memorable part of the 2016 season?
My most memorable part of the 2015 season would have to be trying my first flat track race, it was a completely different experience and feeling than riding on an MX track. Even though the track is smaller than other MX tracks, the speeds you carry through the corners are twice as fast and at the same time you have to drift the bike through the corners.
What started your interest in MX?
Growing up I was just always around racing because it was a big part of my dads life, so I would have to say that my dad is the reason i got interested in MX!
What is your best attribute on and off the track?
My attributes would be I race my competitors hard but clean just the same way I would want them to race me. I leave the racing on the track where I was taught to always lend a helping hand when needed.
What class are you in?
During the 2015 season, I raced in the beginners ATV and Juinor ATV classes and for flat track I raced in the ladies class while in ice racing I raced ladies and sportsmen class.
What are your aspirations?
My aspiration for next year would be the continue to keep pushing myself to improve on my skills and case down the Junior’s ATV championship at Runway Park with Sault Ste Marie.
What bike(s) do you ride?
A YFZ 450 and TRX 450R for my MX racing for flat track and studded ice racing while I ride a YFZ 450 and for non studded ice racing I ride a YFZ 450 and a 300EX all the quads are set up differently for each type of race I compete in.
2015 season results?
Runway Park Moto Mania Series first over all in the MX ATV beginners class and second over all in the MX ATV Juniors Class while at Newberry, Michigan on the flat track I took a second over all in the Ladies Class and in Escanaba, Michigan in ice racing I took a third over all in the ladies and sportsmen class.
What is your favourite track to race?
My favourite track to race at would have to be Runway Park because it is my hometown track and Ryan Nolan always has it groomed and ready to ride.
Why do you race?
I haven’t been racing quads long, this was actually my first full season racing. I got my first dirt bike at two and a half and had my first race at four years old! I guess I just grew up with racing in my family it was something my dad love to do and it just so happened that this little girl wanted to grow up to be just like her daddy!
What awards did you bring home this season at end of the year awards ceremony?
At the end of the year award ceremony for 2015 after my first year of racing quads, I brought home a first place championship for MX ATV Beginner’s Class and a second place championship for MX ATV Junior’s class
Is being a young women in a male dominated sports and how do you use it to your advantage?
Being a young women in this sport is the same as really any other sports some guys have their doubts that a girl can race but most of them don’t treat me any differently! once your on the line waiting for the gate to drop it doesn’t matter what your gender is it just matters how well you can ride!
Any additional comments and what sponsors and who else would you like to thank?
my sponsors are Slickwilly power sports , 75 designs , Roberts racing, Wright Time contracting and Burnrite outdoor wood stoves and i would also like to thank my dad for the countless hours he spend on not only working on my bike but teaching me everything he knows and helping me push myself and always being there to support me. Ryan Nolan for always having the track nice and groomed and ready to ride and also my mom Shari, my step mom Megan, step dad Joe, sister Meeka and the rest of my family for always finding time to make it out to cheer me on!
Maija’s father Kevin sat down with us also to discuss Maija’s first season on racing and this is what Kevin told us about Maija’s first season riding quads.
We went into the beginning of the season with the goal to have fun. I didn’t want to put pressure on her saying she had to win. This was going to be her first full season of racing MX and in the beginner class and I wanted it to be about having fun and hanging out with friends at the track. After the first day of the race season we talked and decided to move her up into the more competitive junior class too. Still with the same goals as having fun but to push herself to try and keep up with the faster guys in that class.
Every weekend she continued to improve and gain more speed running with the faster class. Half way through the summer I decided to take her to run a short track race in Newberry. It was a last minute decision so I just threw a sway bar and a lowering linkage on her MX quad and once again just said go out and have fun. She surprised us all and came 2nd overall that night racing against two of the fastest lady’s that run flat track and ice ovals in Escanaba. All through the race season she stayed positive, had fun and pushed herself. Coming into the last race weekend of the year she had the points lead in the beginner class and was 4 points out of first in the junior class but her goals were still the same. Have fun, and start and finish every race that weekend. Through out the season she showed great sportsmanship with her fellow competitors. In the end she placed first overall in the beginner’s class and second overall in the junior class. Watching her receive her year end trophies and the smile on her face made the late nights in the garage all worth it.
Kevin’s background in racing:
He started racing in 1999 after he bought his first dirt bike while he raced the CMRC Northern Ontario series for five years winning the Vet Championship two years in a row. he also raced in Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena, arena cross in front of 20,000 MX fans. About 2004 the Sault Ste Marie started racing quads in the winter on ice and still riding dirt bikes in the summer. 2010 Kevin switched to racing quads year round.
In 2013 a friend invited Kevin to come down in Michigan to race TT at the state championship where ended up winning the race and state championship title in his first time out. During the summer of 2014, Kevin headed back down state every weekend to chase the AMA district 14 flat track and TT championship where he finished fifth overall in short track and second overall in the TT and third overall combined points for the year in the highly competitive A class.
Racing has taken the Sault Ste Marie native all over Northern Ontario, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. As the MX season has come to an end it is now time to start getting the quads set up for ice where it will be Maija’s first year racing on ice.
We would like to thank all our sponsors who help us make it to the track. SlickWilly Powersports for the best motors around, 75designs, Roberts Racing, Wright Time Contracting.