Stacey Nesbitt is getting used to the added media attention after having become arguably the first female in road racing history to win a mixed gender National Championship title. With Honda Canada's recent announcement to hold a National CBR25oR Cup in 2012, the current CBR 125 Cup champion is ready and willing to carry the Number One plate into the 2012 season.
Honda Canada's Kim Moore has already told Stacey she can sport the Number One plate in the 2012 CBR250R Cup, "Kim's already told us we can put the Number One plate on my bike next year," said Nesbitt, "but I am also still going to keep my number 316 and find room for it on there as well."
Stacey caught up with us at Inside Motorcycles to talk about her plans for 2012 and what she thinks of Honda's recent announcement to host a National CBR25oR Cup next year. "It's really the perfect step," she explained, "I think it's easier to go from a CBR125 to a CBR250 than it is to jump all the way to the 600 (sportbike)."
Honda Canada invited Stacey and fellow Honda competitor and former CBR125 ace Bodhi Edie to test the CBR250R at a media event at St. Eustache recently. The experience was certainly worthwhile and has left no doubt that Stacey plans to compete in the CBR250R Cup in 2012. According to Nesbitt, "The bike was a lot of fun. It's bigger, its got great acceleration, it really is the perfect step."
While Honda Canada is still finalizing the details of the 2012 CBR250 Cup, it is expected that the series will run as part of the Canadian Superbike Series and that the CBR125 Cup will move to regional level events. A race kit will be available for purchase for the CBR250R and while Honda continues to work out the details, they have been considering input from the Nesbitt's and other 125 Cup riders as well.
When asked about her winter plans to prepare for the upcoming 2012 season, Stacey already had a number of goals in mind. She mentioned that the Canadian Superbike Series intends to send the championship winner to the Kevin Schwantz School in Alabama, "but that likely won't happen until Spring, likely March break", said Stacey. So in the meantime, her and her dad, Grant, have been keeping their eyes peeled for a dirt bike that she can ride at an indoor track or on the ice this winter. When asked about any other riding schools or opportunities south of the border, the fourteen-year-old noted, "We're going to focus on the Canadian CBR250R Cup for 2012, so we haven't thought about schools in the U.S. much, but we also wouldn't say no right away either."
The Nesbitt's are currently working on a support package for Stacey for her 2012 racing program. In the meantime, Stacey herself won't be expected to start contributing to her own racing budget just yet, as her parents encourage her to spend her time focussing on attaining good grades in school. "Maybe in November once we see how my grades are," explained Stacey, "but for now I want to get good grades too." Nesbitt seems just fine with her parent's plan for her to focus on school, having returned home a little early the day of our interview as she "drove herself home on the scooter" (in Quebec, riders can apply for a scooter license at age 14).
When asked about her favourite riders on the world cup level, Nesbitt responded without hesitation that Honda's Marco Simoncelli and Yamaha Factory rider Jorge Lorenzo were her favourite MotoGP riders. "Everyone says that Simoncelli is so aggressive," Stacey advised, "but really he's just an old school racer. It's going to be a little aggressive, that's part of racing." Perhaps more importantly, Stacey also pointed out that she likes Simoncelli's personality. She realizes the importance of being available to talk to fans and supporters and appreciates that Simoncelli (as well as many other world cup level riders) are available to talk to fans. "Why wouldn't you?" she offered, "I'd want to thank them any way I could."
Sounds like Stacey's on the right track to defending her number one plate in 2012, and that she'll be a road racing force to be reckoned with for years to come. Watch for her in the 2012 CBR250R Cup in Canada next season.