Sechelt motocross racer Alissa Harkin took second place at the 2019 outdoor series of the BC Motocross Championships in the 2-stroke class – and for the first time earned a national ranking.
“It was a mudfest that day. It rained 60 millimetres overnight,” said Harkin of the race in Manitoba that gave her points to rank 22nd in Canada at the professional level. Eleven competitors weren’t able to complete the race. “I still wiped out. I got back up,” said Harkin, who last year suffered a serious knee injury and a concussion after crashing in the mud. Harkin participated in all of the national races in the series for pro women, which also contributed to her ranking.
“Everybody was super grumpy, they were just grouchy on the ride home, and I was trying to contain myself… I was trying to be low-key excited, because on the inside I was like, yeah!”
In 2018 the young rider took second place in the in the Future West Moto 2018 Fall Series youth class and first place in the youth class at the Future West Moto Outdoor Spring Series riding her “Blue Bullet,” a 2002 Yamaha 125.
This year Harkin is sending it with a new ride, a new team and new category. While she still competes with Blue Bullet, she has also acquired a more powerful Yamaha 250, four-stroke bike and has moved into the 2-Stroke class, as the only woman. She also competed in Ladies and Open Beginner classes. She placed 22 nationally in the Ladies class at the 2019 Canadian Women’s Nationals.
Her solid performance last year was also enough to make the Sky Racing Team, which allows her to train with professionals and get extra assistance from mechanics. She’s also the team’s only female racer. “I’m just like one of the guys, they don’t treat you any different. If anything you have to work harder,” said Harkin.
She attributes her success in part to training sessions that took place in California a month prior to the outdoor series. The rigorous training did lead to more injuries – Harkin broke her shoulder and tore her rotator cuff. “It was a really horrible crash. After that it hurt my self-confidence,” said Harkin. But it didn’t stop her. Instead, she muscled her way through 22 races, including in the U.S., and with the outdoor series over, she’s already got her sights set on the faster indoor arenacross competitions. After four races, she is ranked second in Open Beginner class and fifth in the Ladies class.