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eing a professional motocross racer’s wife is not all that glamorous; the support these women give their husbands is tireless and completely crucial to the racer’s success. It’s not all handed to the wives; they’re not served lunch on a sliver platter or pampered by staff while their husbands have a dream ride on a factory team. It took teamwork and a strong partnership for riders like Marvin Musquin, Andrew Short, Christian Craig, and Fredrik Noren to make it to the top. And just like many of the other top racers, these four professionals have extremely dedicated wives—Mathilde, Jacki, Paige, and Amy, respectively—as well as families who live out of the spotlight. There is a lot more to being a successful professional motocross rider than having skill on the bike; you must be in line with your nutrition, training, travel plans, sponsors, fans, and social media branding, etc., all of which are areas where wives can help pick up a too-busy racer’s slack. Some of the wives have even taken on the mechanic role in years past in order to help keep things moving. Just as every person is different, every rider and his support team run a different program. We recently caught up with the four women mentioned above to see what it means to be a motocross wife and to get a glimpse of a day in the life at a race and on non-race days.

Wives of MX
While the husbands race the better halves are there to support them through it all.Dirt Rider

The Year's Itinerary
Moving is a huge part of the professional racing life for any rider and his support group. Motocross is a sport that takes 100 percent dedication, which means each year's calendar is consumed by riding, racing, and training.

Since Marvin Musquin decided to start training with Aldon Baker in October 2015, the couple makes the migration to Florida at the beginning of each November for two months of intense Supercross training. In between is the Geneva Supercross in Switzerland at the beginning of December. Mathilde says, “It’s an important race for Marvin to meet his French and Europeans fans. Our family and friends attend, and we are able to spend two days with them. From there we go back to Florida for more training.” Just before Supercross kicks off, the couple and their three cats move to their home in California for the West Coast rounds. They have become accustomed to spending Christmas with friends in America but away from their families back home. “France is too far, and jet lag is too rough to do a round-trip,” Mathilde says. “And Supercross is around the corner, so you can’t get distracted.” Moving is a constant motion in the Musquins’ routine as they rotate between California and Florida about every two months. In August, the training and racing halts for 10 to 15 days where Mathilde and Marvin go home to France to see family and friends. Mathilde notes, “It’s always too short.”

Amy Noren
Fredrik Noren & wife AmyDirt Rider

In a similar fashion, the calendar year is planned out in advance for Jacki, Andrew, and their two children. Their youngest was only two weeks old the first time they moved with children. Each year in November the Short family drives to California for the winter to prepare for the Supercross season. The kids have a school they attend in both places. Jacki notes, “Some years we really have to be flexible, and it changes constantly because December is crunch time to prepare for the upcoming Supercross season. January is crazy busy with the races, but it’s also nice that the kids and I get to go with Andrew to most of them there. About mid-February, a week before the series heads east, the kids and I move back to Texas to prepare the farm for Andrew’s return. Andrew has a fresh track waiting for him when he arrives, and I get the house opened back up and all ready for him. March and April are about the same here. May gets busy again with the Motocross season about to start up. June, July, and August are all about the same around here. September and October are fun! Andrew has more time on his hands, and it’s fun to do things that get put on the back burner during the season. Then we start all over in November.”

For the Craig household, Christian and his wife Paige had been doing the normal 9-to-5 work days during Christian’s two-year break from racing, and they also had their first child, Jagger, last October. Christian worked as property manager for a custom homebuilder in Minnesota, and Paige is still working for a marketing firm now from their home. In March and April this year, Christian decided to make a comeback, which meant a whole different plan for their calendar year, and it would be back to racing almost every weekend, with a month break prior to the Monster Energy Cup and a few non-race months before Supercross 2016.

Through the three years that Fredrik and Amy have been together, their annual itinerary has been drastically different. Their story is intriguing, as Amy explains: “Before halfway through last summer [2014], Fredrik was a privateer, so our schedule was all over the place. We did as many outdoor nationals as possible plus hunted around for local money races on the off weekends while we were driving from round to round together.” In 2015, Fredrik is working as a test rider for Honda and is a fill-in rider for Factory Honda during the outdoor nationals. When not riding for the factory team, he is with a satellite Honda team, Motosport/GPI/Honda. Amy travels alongside Fredrik still. “I help take care of things for him so he can focus on racing,” Amy says. Amy works for Alli Sports as a photographer at some rounds of the Pro Motocross series.

Paige Craig
Christian Craig & wife PaigeDirt Rider

Normal Life?
Mathilde: "Our life is pretty much all about motorcycles for now. I can't complain; I love it. I chose to be more involved in the sport than most of the other wives. First of all, I love the sport, I love going to the track, and I love the competition. It is so exciting. I'm with Marvin at the track for every single practice. In Florida, I'm in charge of his pit board during the week and get his lap times. I see from the inside all the work he puts in during the week, so I know even better what he can do during the weekend. I support him to reach his goals." Mathilde says that when there is a weekend off, Marvin uses it to rest. "When we are home, there is always more to do for him and his job. It's a lot of paperwork, emails, interview requests, contracts, and sponsors, but it's fun. I like it. It's a full-time job!"

Jacki: “A normal day around here would consist of Andrew either riding or training off the bike. I try to go for a run in the morning, and by the time I’m back Andrew is waking up. He is not a morning person! Now that it is summer it’s more relaxed with Emma and Hudson. If school is in session, we have to get moving. School is 30 minutes from us, and there are three train crossings. Supercross is the easy time of year around here for me. I don’t have many responsibilities to help maintain the track. Outdoors season can be tough. Sprinklers water Andrew’s outdoor track, so sometimes they have to be adjusted. It lies along the Colorado River, which loves to flood lately. I maintain the sprinklers as well as making sure all the debris from the flooding is removed. I mow a lot of the motocross track, and weed-eating is making me buff! Between my dad and I we mow over 25 acres of grass with a zero-turn mower.”

Paige: “Non-race days always consist of bike rides for Christian, either mountain or road, along with riding or the gym. He works his butt off during the week, and his trainer usually has to tell him to relax a little bit because he is not good at resting—he has ADD bad. Sunday I usually try to keep him relaxing and not doing much. We’ll typically go on the boat or go hang outside with our dogs and Jagger.”

Amy: “On non-race days I am taking care of the house, dogs, insurance, travel plans, meals, and other random things that always seem to come up so he can focus on riding and training. Freddie practices two to four times a week depending if it is a race week or not. I go to the practice track with him 95 percent of the time, and 75 percent of the time I am doing the same things I do for him on a race day, plus running his pit board and giving him his lap times. I also spend time reading, learning about how he should eat, and the mental side of being an athlete.”

Jacki Short
Andrew Short & wife JackiDirt Rider

Race Day
Mathilde: "I take care of all the logistics: booking flights, rental cars, et cetera. He usually asks me the night before, 'What time is our flight?' for the next day. He doesn't care about that stuff. All that matters to him is riding and racing. On a race day, my main concern is to make Marvin's life easier. I want him to be able to focus 100 percent on his race and not be worried about anything else. I make sure his gear is ready and clean for each practice and race, along with preparing his drinks and food. He always likes to sleep between practices and races, so I have to check the clock and wake him up on time. I'm there to listen to him and support him the best I can. I'm his number-one fan! I always remind him of what he can do and goals. During a moto, all I can do is cheer for him. I'm always somewhere where he can see me because I feel like I need to send him all of my energy during his moto."

Jacki: “I used to love to go to the races with Andrew before we had kids. Emma and Hudson don’t have much interest in racing. They see it and hear about it all the time, and they have their own interests. They do like going to the races—but just for the social aspect and the candy they get from the different teams. When I do go to a race by myself, I try to be Andrew’s sounding board. I prep Andrew’s food for the race every weekend. I make it here at home and freeze some of it the night before. He takes it in a cooler on the plane with him to every race. It’s a great way for us to control the quality of the food he’s eating, especially when it’s so important before a race. The older Andrew gets, the more particular he gets about his gear and the way he likes things done at the races. I seem to have it down now, and I think it’s just comforting to be together again at the races, just like when he first turned professional.” Jacki manages all of Andrew’s travel, expenses, and sponsorships as well.

Paige: “We wake up at 6 a.m. every outdoor race day, have breakfast, and then head to the track. Coffee is always a must for us. We actually hate the taste but just do it for the buzz [laughs]! Then, once we get to the track, I usually help Christian get his stuff ready for the day: organize gear and get his drink mixes ready for him in between practices and motos. Rider’s meeting is at 7:45 then he comes back and hangs out until practice. In between practices and races, I make him eat and drink his hydration mix. He isn’t that good at eating on race day. I usually have to shove it down his throat. His race-day food always consists of the same thing: peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich then chicken and rice between motos. Race-night meal is usually his cheat meal, which typically means Olive Garden.”

Amy: “Back when Freddie was a privateer [prior to July 2014], we often stayed in a cheap hotel with not very good food, so the morning of the race I would make sure I had something good for him to eat then we’d head to the track bright and early. I’d help him unload and get set up for the day. The majority of races I helped him with small things on his bike throughout the day, such as checking tire pressure, taking his tires to Dunlop to get changed, making sure the bike was fueled up, setting his sag on his suspension, cleaning the bike, and if something broke on the bike and we didn’t have a part, I’d run around to try to find someone to buy it off of. I took care of making sure I had a good lunch prepared for him and that he ate it at the right time so it wasn’t too close to riding that he'd get an upset stomach, making sure he was hydrating, prepping his goggles, and if he had any injuries, I would tend to those. During practice and the race I took care of his pit board, gave him his lap times, advice/reminders, and position. When it was race time I would go to the line with him to stomp his gate, set his holeshot device, top his bike off with gas after the sight lap, and give him a fresh set of goggles and water. After the race I’d help him get cleaned up, loaded, and give him the plan for the following week on our driving schedule and practicing schedule as we made our way to the next round. If there were any parts we needed, things that needed done during the week, I would map out those places on our route.”

Mathilde Musquin
Marvin Musquin & wife MathildeDirt Rider

What's Next?
For now, Marvin and Mathilde Musquin have agreed to focus on his career first. "We know it's not a forever job," Mathilde says. "You never know how long it can last, so we want to give our best to make it work. When his time will be over, we don't want to have any regrets. That's why we give our best every day. Then it will be more my time, and I know he will support me the same way I support him."

Jacki Short feels the same way when it comes to unconditionally supporting Andrew: “When we had kids, it was decided that I wouldn’t attend as many races. We felt that they needed at least one of us here. We were 19 and 20 when we got married. I was racing and Andrew was racing. After I got hurt I put my wants aside to support Andrew. I don’t regret it at all.”

As much as these ladies love supporting their men, not all of them enjoy the races. “I honestly hate watching, Paige admits. “I get so nervous. I don’t even watch him on the start because I can’t stand it. I usually make the person standing next to me keep me updated, until a couple turns in. During the race you can find me freaking out and nervously shaking. I also don’t like to eat on race day because my nerves are through the roof. The best part of the day is when the races are done and we are in the car on the way back to the hotel. I love knowing that my husband is safe and the hard part is done.”

Wives of MX Mathilde Musquin
Mathilde and husband Marvin Musquin both share a passion for the sport and grew up around motorcycles. Mathilde's father was a race mechanic in France, and her brother used to race. Mathilde met Marvin when she was 15 years old at the Bercy Supercross in Paris, they became friends, and they started dating a few months later.Dirt Rider

Amy Noren admits that now that her husband is on a major race team, her program has changed from serving as a mechanic to working in more of a support role. “Freddie being able to be in the right mental state and stay focused is extremely important and tricky, and I am there to monitor that and help make it happen,” Amy explains. “From us spending so much time together for a couple years while he was a privateer, he has mentally become very attached to the idea of me being there constantly, and he gets an uneasy feeling if I am not around. He even asks me if I am coming to the rider’s meeting to stand with him and listen in the mornings before the race day begins. I feel like a lot of it comes from that when he was a privateer we faced so many problems and things that would come up that I would help with. So though I don’t have as many specific tasks on a race day, as much as my time is still taken up just being there with him.”

In talking to each of these women—and countless other pro racers’ spouses—it becomes clear that sacrifice and unconditional support are a big part of the relationship, but there’s also a high level of satisfaction and reward that comes from being part of such a solid team effort. Sure, some racers have made the choice to remain single so that they can focus on their careers, but for the married men in our sport their primary means of support typically comes from a devoted wife who works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a successful result. The next time you see a racer like Marvin, Andrew, Christian, or Fredrik smiling on the podium, look closely, and just off to the side there’s a good chance that you’ll find Mathilde, Jacki, Paige, or Amy standing nearby with an equally large smile.

Inside Info From The Racers' Better Halves

Mathilde Musquin Jacki Short Paige Craig Amy Noren
What was your husband's first AMA Pro number? 125 931 578 867
What size glove does he wear? Medium, but he had to wear a large on one side when his wrist swelled after Colorado Size 10 Large He wears small in Novik but in Troy Lee he wears medium.
What is his favorite track? Back home in France, at his parents' house, his SX track was his playground as a kid. It means a lot to him. Thunder Valley, Colorado, because it's close to where he grew up. Thunder Valley, Colorado He wouldn't even be able to answer that, but if you forced him to name one he would say Washougal. He tends to do some of his best motos there—it's good dirt!
Does he use maxi-pads on his goggles? Nope, he doesn't now and never has. Yes! I used to give him a hard time because once he called it a tampon! Yes...ha-ha! Yeah, and being from Sweden he didn't know what they were called and referred to them as "lady patches"! I just let him call them that; I think it's cute.
What is his favorite pre-race meal? Simple grilled chicken and rice. Nothing exciting! Brown rice, ground buffalo Peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich Chicken and rice or a peanut butter/very light on the jelly sandwich.

How They Met
Amy Noren grew up in Ohio and rode with her family as a fun pastime. Newlyweds Amy and Fredrik Noren had known of each other before but had not formally met until he went up and introduced himself to her at Steel City MX in 2012.

Paige Craig grew up in a family that was always at the races and is very supportive of Christian. Paige and Christian met at the Anaheim 2 Supercross in 2012 when he was riding for Troy Lee Designs. Paige recalls, "It was love at first sight."

Jacki and Andrew Short met at the amateur races as kids, where they grew up racing. Extremely into racing, Jacki raced up until nine months after they were married and explains that she, "broke both arms and decided to hang it up." They have been married for 11 years now. Jacki never stopped riding and has recently entered some local races in Texas. Not consumed by motocross, she enjoys riding off-road as well. Having a very competitive person such as Jacki as a supportive partner, it's no wonder Andrew Short has consistently been a top contender over the past decade.