Features 11 Sep 2012

Five Questions Why: Meghan Rutledge

Australia's fastest female talks about her overseas ambition and racing against the boys.

Seventeen-year-old ripper Meghan Rutledge is on a single-minded mission to become the best female motocross racer on the planet. After making waves through the USA when she won her first-ever WMA race at the 2012 season opener at Hangtown, the Picton teenager has just left to contest the final round of the World Grand Prix for the Monster Kawasaki Elf team. We caught up with Australia’s fastest female as she packed her bags for Germany and threw her five questions starting with ‘why’.

Meghan Rutledge is set to be Australia's next top international on the world stage. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Why did you decide to race the male-dominated sport of motocross?
The main reason is because adrenalin rush. I’m really competitive and tried other sports like soccer, touch footy and dancing, but none gave me the buzz and drive that motocross does. It’s more aggressive than most girl sports, but I like to get in there and mix it with the boys.

Why do you race against the guys instead of sitting back and dominating the women’s classes?
There aren’t many girls classes in Australia, and I race the guys to bring my competitive level up. I’ve always raced against them, and while I could race the girls, if I want to make it to the top of the sport I need to race the boys here first. I’ve definitely improved too – last year I struggled to qualify for the U19s, but this year my best result was a 13th.

Why did you go to the USA earlier this year?
I went over for a look in February, but then Team Green Kawasaki offered me a ride at the first three rounds of the AMA and at X Games. At Hangtown I was running in third, but crashed and finished eighth. In the second race I was in fourth battling with Tarah Geiger, Jessica Patterson and Ashley Fiolek. I got past Tarah, then both Fiolek and Patterson crashed and I won my first AMA race. There are no words to describe that feeling – it was amazing.

I finished third overall at Freestone, then I crashed during practice/qualifying at Thunder Valley and broke my wrist. Even though I only completed one qualifying lap I still qualified second. I spent the next four weeks in a brace, then raced X Games with just one day of supercross training. I was running third in the Main, but got taken out and fought back to fourth in the five-minute race.

Mad Meg works closely with Moss Institute, with her next event to come in Germany's final GP round this month. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Why do you think you can become one of the fastest chicks on the planet?
Because I’m so determined. I dream to get to the top and I’m not going to stop until I make it. There’s no way I would’ve got this far without Greg Moss. He’s helped get me this far and he’s always pushing me to the next level.

Why are you heading to Germany?
I’m going to race the final round of the World GPs with the Monster Energy Elf Kawasaki team. I’m heading there with Greg Moss’s wife, Rhona, and I’m really excited as I’ve never been to Europe before. I’m aiming to race the best I can, so that way no-one can be disappointed with my results. I’d love to win it, but my goal is finish on the podium. Chiara Fontanesi has already wrapped up the championship, but it’ll be good to gauge my speed against the world’s fastest women.