Maria Forsbergposted Mar 19, 2009
Tags: Interviews, Racing All Article Tags
Maria rides with the RPM KTM Off Road racing team based out of Washington state. Maria has been riding and racing since she was a little girl, and is now showing the racing world how much talent she has. She recently gold medaled in the ISDE, and just won the Women's Pro Championship in the WORCS series for 2008. We spent a few minutes with this talented young woman, and got a little insight into what she is all about.
Tell us a bit about your career in racing...
I try to do as many and different types of racing as I can. My favorite kind of racing is the kind that is difficult and puts me to the test. I have done the Red Bull Last Man Standing race twice, the Fun Enduro in Mexico, and a few GNCC's. I am currently doing the WORCS series which has helped me out a ton with my high speed riding and MX skills (even though I'm still not too good at it). I won the Pro Women's Championship in WORCS in 2008! Any kind of race is my kind of race.
When did you start?
I started riding when I was four and racing off road when I was twelve.
What made you decide to start racing?
I had been going to the races since I was about a month old because my Mom and Dad raced. I've always had a competitive streak in me so when I was 12, I asked my Dad if I could start racing too.
When did you turn Pro?
I think it was in 2006 when I did the WMA race for my first time at Washougal. I had been racing Womens A at WORCS races but it was not yet a Pro class.
What teams have you worked with?
I have been on the RPM racing team run by Mike and Sharrie Hulbert since I was sixteen years old. In the past few years we have had factory support from KTM, and I've been with them for a few years as well.
Tell us about the bike you ride.<br/> I ride a KTM 250F and love everything about it. The motor is all stock but there is some modifications that I must have. My bike always has a Rekluse automatic clutch, GPR stabilizer, Fastway pegs, FMF exhaust system, and Maxxis tires on it. The suspension is stock, it's so good there is no reason to modify it.
What is the best bike you have ever ridden?
My KTM 250F.
What is your best race to date?
The best race to date is by far the International Six Days Enduro in Serres, Greece this year. The ISDE has always been my lifetime goal, and I finally got to accomplish that. My goal was just to finish all six days and get a medal and I surprised myself that I did just that but also dropped zero route points and finished second overall and brought home a gold medal. It was the hardest race I have ever done but totally worth it.
Probably the Hollister National Hare Scrambles a few years ago when I hit a tree with my face and it clothes-lined me off my bike. My lip looked like Donald Duck and they had to cart me all the way down from the top of the hill to the pits in a stretcher. I was lying on the ground when they were fixing me up, and I didn't know that Hollister was known for poison oak. I got home after the 22 hour drive home and I found out I had it all over my body. ?
Have you ever raced any other types of motorcycle competition?
Yes I try to do as many as I can. I have competed in the Last Man Standing, ISDE, Fun Enduro in Mexico, GNCC, WORCS, WMA, Endurocross and many more.
Would you go back to that type of racing?
I would do all of them again all the time if I could.
What do you think about the future of motorcycle racing?
I think in the future, motorcycle racing is going to get much bigger for women. It already has grown so much in the past five years, and it is going to get better.
What is it like racing a national series and being on the road for most of the year?
It's a blast and I wouldn't trade it for the world! I'm not really on the road that much, I usually fly because I work 40 hours a week as an electrician. But I love traveling and seeing the world.
Out of all the tracks you have raced at, do you have a favorite?
For off road, the best riding I have done would be the Fun Enduro in Mexico. The terrain was a lot like Washington and it wasn't dusty at all which I like. For Moto, it would have to be Washougal, because there are no super big jumps and I love the hills.
Would you have advice for someone who is trying to make a start in racing?
Start out doing local races so you feel comfortable in the racing atmosphere. After you have been doing that for a while and winning races, then try a few nationals. If you start out doing big races too soon, it might intimidate you too much. That was the situation I was in for a few years.
How do you prepare for a race?
I start hydrating 5 days before the race, and try to carb load the night before by eating pasta.
What is the difference for you between racing and regular riding?
Racing is very different than just riding. When I am racing I'm going 100% the whole time without stopping, unless to pit. Riding is so much fun but in a different way. I grew up riding with my brother and our friends. We would be trail riding and find either a hill or log that seems impossible to ride over, and then we will all sit there and take turns trying it until someone makes it.
Tell us about your sponsors, and what they do for you.
They do so much for me and I couldn't have achieved what I have without them. They help me out with product and support at the races all the time. I would like to thank RPM racing team, KTM, FMF, GPR stabilizers, Rekluse clutches, Maxxis tires, SIDI boots, MSR, PG graphics, Dynomite Designs, Fastway, and my family for all of the help they have given me. Of course, without Motion Pro and their awesome tools, my bikes would never be running!
What do you do for them in return?
I try to get their name out there as much as I can in interviews or podium ceremonies. Also, if people ask me for product advice I try to tell them about my sponsors and why I have them.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing you now?
My job probably, because I work full time and it cuts into my training time and the races I can and cannot go to.
Do you have a role model?
I have a lot of role models but some of the people I look up to most are Kurt Caselli and Destry Abbott. I have seen their accomplishments and some of the tough times and through it all they are two of the best off road racers ever.
What do you do when you are not racing?
I mostly spend my time mountain biking during the week, and fun riding on the weekends when I'm not racing. I enjoy anything outdoors.