Sherri Cruse Motocross Interview

July 1, 2009
Jim Kimball
Currently tied for third in the 2009 WMA Championship, Sherri Cruse is a girl with a plan. Gathering her first overall win last year at Thunder Valley in Colorado, the Californian certainly knows what it takes to win. And with that she hopes to continue on with her podium streak, and eventually taking the top spot. Not only does she compete in women’s motocross, she also races in the popular WORCS events and even captured a Silver Medal last summer’s X Games. I recently had the opportunity to chat with the 20 year old – here is what she had to say.

Sherri Cruse - AMA Womens Motocross  Glen Helen
The 20-year-old from Bakersfield,
California is one of the top
championship contenders in WMX,
and also an excellent smiler. 
MotorcycleUSA.com especially
thinks Sherri is cool for being
one of the test riders in our
2009 250F Motocross Shootout.

Sherri, currently you are tied for third place in the WMA Championship series; what will it take you to move past Vicky (Golden) and challenge second place in points Jessica (Patterson)?

Vicky is a great rider; of course so is JP. I just plan on getting good starts and really charging the whole moto. I know what I can do to pick up a few seconds in my lap times and I am working on that. I feel like I am very consistent, and that will pay off at the end of the series.

You have had a couple podiums so far this year; how are you feeling about your riding?

In all I am very happy with my riding; I have been on the podium three out of the four races so far. I have started off pretty strong in the series, and that’s a great place for me to be.

With that said, the defending WMA Champ Ashley Fiolek has seemingly set herself apart from everyone – what can you do to get to that next level?

Well, it’s really the same plan as I said a minute ago; I think that I know where I can pick up a few seconds per lap. I need to also continue to get good starts, and be up front with her to be able to finish in front.

Continuing on with Ashley; she is the only true “factory” rider – does that give her a big advantage?

Ashley is a great rider; with or without a factory ride – but certainly it helps. I have a great bike, and Randy (DiFrancesco) makes sure it is like new for every race, but I think that her program with all the testing that Team Honda does is helpful – she has the whole team down on the track helping her. I am happy that she is on a factory ride, and hope that other teams will follow. It is all our (WMA racers) dream to earn a factory ride, make a living doing what we love, and having that help to take us to the next level. It would be super for women’s motocross to have a few more women on teams.

Sherri Cruse - Womens Motocross  Glen Helen Sherri Cruse - AMA Womens Motocross  Hangtown  Start of Moto 1 - AMA Womens Motocross  Freestone
Cruse took third at Glen Helen (left), a pair of fourth-place finshes at Hangtown (middle), and double podiums at Freestone (right). 

You’ve moved up pretty far in the WMA series since your pro debut; what has helped you get here?

Definitely the people in my life, and the many companies involved in my program have helped. I have a great mechanic and group of helpers in Bakersfield (California). I train with Todd Jacobs and Travis Pastrana half the pre-season and with Lisa DiFrancesco the other half. I ride hard several days a week and come into the series prepared; knowing that I’m ready, and that I am on a good bike.

I know that you race some of the WORCS series; how has that helped you?

I believe that it has helped with my riding endurance and taught me a lot about being consistent. It has also really helped me with line selection. Plus we ride in pretty rough and dry conditions and that has given me more confidence at the motocross races.

Sherri, tell us some of your race highlights to date.

Last year I won my first WMA Pro moto at Thunder Valley; it was the first night race and I got the holeshot and led the entire moto! I also got on the podium in at least one moto at four of the last six WMA races. I won a Silver Medal at the X Games in the inaugural Women’s Moto X race, which was such a great experience. I have also won the WORCS Women’s Championship. But really, just being able to change the sport for women is a highlight for me.

Sherri Cruse - Womens Motocross  High Point Sherri Cruse - Womens Motocross  High Point Sherri Cruse - AMA Womens Motocross  Thunder Valley
Cruse broke Fiolek’s Holeshot streak at High Point (left) on her way to two podiums (middle), with another at Thunder Valley (right).

With MX Sports taking control of the WMA series for 2009, has things changed much?

Miki Keller (past WMA President and founder) did a great job; especially as one person bringing the sport to a level where a company like MX Sports would get involved. Now we have practice and motos all on the same day; on Pro day when all the fans are at the track – it motivates us all to work and ride harder. Plus for the first time we have a televised broadcast of each race on Versus; before we just had a brief highlights reel, now it’s a full one hour show. Hopefully this will attract more sponsors and also encourage more girls to come out and ride motocross. So far the involvement with MX Sports has been very good.

Okay Sherri; finishing things up; what are your goals this year in the WMA series?

I want to win a race, and finish top three in the Championship.

Let’s end with the people that you want to thank.

All my sponsors, who include Cernics Suzuki, AXO, Dunlop Tires, Von Zipper, Troy Lee Designs, Race Tech Suspension, Pro Circuit Motors, Motion Pro, Zip Ty Racing, RK Excel, Odi, Throttle Jockey, Rekluse, Shock Doctor, and MMI. Also a big thank you too Ryan Abler, Miki Keller, Travis Pastrana, Wesly Furr, Steve McGowen, Josh Goforth, Curtis Sparks, Jim Trino, Josh Chism, Gary Bowman, Randy DiFrancesco and family, and the Gereke Family.