A remix to the 1980’s smash hit by none other than Cyndi Lauper, Katie Benson is putting her own spin on the ballad, this time dedicating the song to the notion of claiming motocross titles. Pioneering her route through the heavily saturated male dominance of this sport, she’s looking to break the stereotypes of athleticism, and establish new records every time she steps foot on the racetrack. We were lucky enough to have a few minutes with Katie, and receive a little bit of information on the young woman from Delmar, Delaware.
How did you get into motocross? Television? Family or someone you know ride?
My family raced so I grew up at the track. I always had a goal to beat my older sister Shelby.
How’d your first race go?
My first race was on a PW50 when I was 4 years old at Budds Creek. When I got to the first downhill, I stopped and looked down like a lot of beginners do. However, instead of being scared to go down, I was super over-confident and went wide open down the hill over the bumps; which sent me over the bars. I actually quit racing for about a half hour, but decided to race the next moto while Bill Clark helped me around the entire track. I probably finished last.
Anything symbolic, or a reason why you chose number 28?
I was # K8 for Kate because my dad was #8. My first year at Loretta's I was number 82. That number is bad luck, I crashed 3 times on the first lap. The next year I was number 18, but the following year some boy took it when I made the boy's class so I picked #28 and it stuck.
Tell us about your results at the Junior Moto X Event; how do you feel that event went for you?
I only raced girls classes because I hadn't ridden the last 3 months with an injury. I won both the girls 9-13 and girls 12-15 classes. 2 classes, 2 wins is the best I could hope for. It went really well and I look forward to racing Junior Moto X again next year.
You have a solid background on the Arenacross racing circuit; are you more comfortable on that style of track? Compared to the outdoors?
I am absolutely more comfortable on an outdoor track but I'm feeling better every time I race Arenacross. I am looking forward to Feld adding Women's AX (WAX) to their pro night show. I think this is a great stage to highlight top-level women's racing and for Feld to attract more women to their events. I hope you all buy a ticket to watch the best women in the world race.
Training at South of the Border, how has that progressed and evolved you as a rider?
SOB has given me the facility, support and repetition to get faster. They also treat me like family. The best part is watching Austin Schafer turn red when I embarrass him.
However, being from Delaware, do you get the chance to ride very often at home? Any decent tracks in the area?
We have a few tracks close by in Delaware. Seaford / Speed Citi / Middleford raceway are about 15 minutes from my house, and Snake Creek is within an hour away. They are both fun tracks, but I don't ride them too often because of my race schedule and training at SOB.
Have you had the chance to ride, and/or be accustomed to the big bike yet?
Today was actually my first day on a big bike. My KTM 150 sure is fast. We have some jetting work to do to make it crisp but I look forward to riding it in the Women's class at Loretta's this year.
Being from the East Coast, what’s your favorite type of soil to ride on?
I really like loamy tracks with deep ruts the best. Oddly enough sand isn't my thing even though I've ridden it for years.
Who, if any, women have inspired you in making an impact, and competing in a predominantly male sport?
When I was younger I was inspired to beat my older sister Shelby. Recently, Jessica Patterson has helped me a lot at the races. JP$ can still go super fast.
What do you like to do when you’re off the bike? Any activities you find fun other than riding your motorcycle?
I really like to shop and dress nicely for special events. I've figured out that racing motorcycles is the only sport I am good at. Have you seen me throw a ball? (Laughs)
Goals/Plans for the rest of 2017?
I really just want to win...and break my Krispy Kreme habit.
Any sponsor’s you’d like to thank?
Monster Army, Bell, Mika Metals, Bel-Ray, Goldentyre, Leatt, AXO, 100%, Nihilo, FMF, Brewer Cycles, Ohlins, Rekluse, SOB, Razor Image, Lynk's Racing, Moto Hose, Trader's Racing, Rad MX, www.pestcontrolproducts.pro, Accurate Pest Control, Mom, Dad & my Grandparents. Also Tim Clark for all you do.
DAILY BREAD BY / LOGAN MATTINGLY
(Know someone that should be featured?)
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Images: TenHagen / Paradise