Introducing Vanessa Florentino - The Determination, Drive and Speed of a Champion
Vanessa Florentino’s name as a woman in motorsports might not be as recognizable as Danica Patrick’s, but she’s hoping to change that.
At 19, Florentino has the determination, drive and speed of a champion. On track, she’s a tough cookie but once she hangs up her helmet she's a typical teenager; who just happens to excel at the sport of motocross. Vanessa started riding dirt bikes at age 8 and began her racing career at age 12. She won the Amateur class in 2005 then turned pro the next day in time for the finals and finished third on the podium in the pro class.
Although she competes in many regional races throughout the year the "WMA* National Series" is a six event series that runs from May to September. Her next event is the big, once a year women's event coming up over Thanksgiving called the WMA Cup down in San Antonio, TX. She's finished third in the pro class of this race for the last two years.
Vanessa finished seventh overall in the 2007 WMA National Championship with her best finish being third overall at the last race which put her on the podium at the event.
She enjoys spending off track time with her boyfriend, Yamaha's Josh Hill. This year, Vanessa ended her season with her first-ever WMA podium finish at Steel City.
How did you first get into motocross racing?
My dad rode back in the day so there were always dirt bikes at my house, and when some of my neighbors started riding all the time it looked like a lot of fun and I kind of picked up on it.
What are your goals for 2008?
I just want to be able to ride like I can at home, that’s about it.
What is the best part of being a woman in motorsports?
Probably the part where guys load up your bike for you and help work on your bike!
Do you have any other racing aspirations, like racing cars?
Well I’m into rally cars but I haven’t taken that too seriously.
How hard is it to balance a personal life with your race schedule and commitments?
It’s not bad because a lot of my personal life is at the track.
What is your favorite track to compete on and why?
This local track called Tulie because the way the layout is, it’s just really fun.
Who is your biggest mentor or inspiration in your racing career?
My dad taught me how to ride so I guess I’ve got to give him some credit, but my brothers give me pretty killer advice at times.
Favorite CD: The Silence by Blindside
Favorite Book: Curious George
Favorite Movie: Zoolander and Napoleon Dynamite
Other Interests: Snowboarding, Pogo stick, paint ball, fireworks and R/C cars
Vanessa is actively looking for sponsorship for the 2008 race season. If interested please contact Lee Bowers at BlueStarr Racing, 719.648.2728.