Ladysmith motocross star Oriana Fraser is ready to tear up the track at the 2019 Walton TransCan Grand National Championship.
Fraser will compete in the Amateur GNC, held August 13-16 in Walton, Ontario. She is the only female rider representing B.C. at the championship.
“There’s a bit of pressure on me to do well, and I feel that pressure, but I’m also really excited about being able to represent the West in that way. There aren’t any other girls from B.C. or anything going there,” Fraser said.
As an older racer, Fraser has become a role model for younger riders. She’s made strong friendships with riders in her age group, and older. While the competition on the track is fierce, it’s nothing but friendship in the pit.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all my racing friends who are out there,” Fraser said. “Riding that track is so much fun, and just being able to compete on that level, I’m really looking forward to it.”
For the past few months, Fraser has been focused on training. Her training regiment is a mix of on-bike time, running, and cycling. Fraser says she’s feeling good in advance of the competition, and that she’s never felt as confident in her motocross skills as she does now.
Last August, Fraser returned from an ACL injury that kept her off the track for five months. In her triumphant return, she competed at the B.C. Motocross Championship in Nanaimo, and took first in Ladies Class, and third in Junior MX. This will be her second time competing and the Walton GNC. Fraser finished fifth overall at her last Walton showing. She hopes to place in the top five once again this year.
Fraser is sponsored by a number of Vancouver Island companies. Ladysmith Motorsports is the major bike sponsor. GNB Builders in Cedar support Fraser in getting parts and equipment. MX Forumla Goggles, an upstart goggle company out of Victoria provides Fraser with racing goggles. Falcon Crest images in Duncan prepare the graphics for Fraser’s jersey including her name and number. Ride Industries in Nanoose Bay put the finishing touches on Fraser’s bike with graphics and decals. This support is something Fraser values immensely.
“It is really cool to be able to represent these small Island companies, and get their name out across Canada. It’s so good. I know that I’m helping them to get their name out, but they’re also helping me because all the things they do for me are things that I need,” Fraser said.
After the summer motocross season wraps up, Fraser will return to Ladysmith Secondary School for her graduating year. Once she graduates, Fraser is planning to attend the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario for a degree in engineering. She has already spoken with school officials, and told them about her involvement in motocross.
“It’s something they like to see in their people,” Fraser said. “You’re active, you’re doing something.”
For now, her focus is on her upcoming challenge at the Walton GNC. Not only will Fraser compete in the Amateur GNC, but she will also compete in the first ever Ladies Shootout that pits female riders from the west against riders from the east. Typically on the Island, Fraser ends up racing with male riders.
Fraser’s father, Dale Gisbourne says that they are looking forward to representing Ladysmith on a national level.
“We’re excited to be representing our province and our Island at a national event like this. When we came to Walton’s last time they had never heard of Vancouver Island as much as say, Ladysmith,” Gisbourne said. “It puts the Island on the map, and it helps our community of motocross racers across Canada that you can come from a small town like Ladysmith, and you can turn heads.”