Dominican debut for women


Marie-Josée Boucher interview
Photo: Jose Bonilla

Canada’s successful Women’s Cup series made its international debut in the Dominican Republic at the end of November. George Butler — event sponsor, the country’s FIM rep, president of the D-R racing federation, and owner of the Moto Butler motorcycle shop in Santo Domingo — invited 10 of the regulars down to join in a D.R. meet, and met with more success than he could have imagined.

"It was a wonderful spectacle … it was a very good crowd and as you saw they enjoy these women, these girls. They were very excited. This city is crazy for motorcycle racing … Your girls — I should call them ladies because they were absolutely charming. They are colourful and very fast. They have created a large fan base here and I hope you can come back again next year. If I don’t bring you back I think the fans will kill me."

The two 10-lap races saw close competition, although Marie-Josée Boucher stamped her mark on the event with two wins. "What can I say? My Honda worked so good, Alain did his magic again. I just put my head down and went to work. On the cool down lap I could hear the fans and see them. I did a nice burnout in front of the grandstands and they went crazy so I stopped in front of the infield stands and did another one and the same thing, they really liked that."

Genevieve "Gigi" Lesieur took two seconds, while Natalie-Catherine Provost and Vanessa Gareau traded thirds. Gigi later said, "I have had better starts but I’ve had trouble with my front brake sticking so I wanted to be careful going into one. I closed the gap at the end but I was exhausted. I improved my lap times but most important I had fun. We did so well here, no crashes, no incidents, it was great. This was an experience that I, that we all, will remember for the rest of our lives. This has made our group closer. We were already close to one another and this keeps us together."

Vanessa made it an extra-extra-special weekend by getting married to Franklyn Dominguez, who’s the D.R. superbike champion and cut an impressive swath in Canadian racing this past season, winning the final RACE Superbike event at Shannonville in September.

If you’re looking for a holiday next fall, you might think about keeping your eyes open for notice of the reprise of this event.

Larry Tate with files from Frank Wood.

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