Three-time Canadian National Superbike Champion and FAST Riding school owner Michel Mercier began racing in 1973 at age 20.
His determined and aggressive riding style soon became his “trademark” and was admired by both fans and other riders.
Michel has represented Canada while racing in United States, England, France, Spain, Australia and Japan.
In an 18 year motorcycle racing carreer, he won 25 Canadian National Titles in four different divisions of motorcycle racing: Road Race, Dirt Track, Ice Race and Motocross. This includes five Canadian National #1 plates in Ice Racing and three Canadian National #1 plates in Road Racing. Michel retired from competition in 1990 on a high note, winning his last #1 in motorcycle competition.
After being part of the debut of FAST Riding school in 1987, Michel owns it sinc 1990 and manage it full time. Like he has done in racing, he keeps improving his school every year.
- Inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of fame in 2010
- Inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2009
- 18 year motorcycle racing carreer. 1973 to 1990
- 25 Canadian National Titles
- 5 Canadian National #1 plates in Ice Racing
- 3 Canadian National #1 plates in Road Racing
- Raced in eight different countries: United States, England, France, Spain, Australia, Japan and Canada.
- Invited and raced in the Wide World of Sport SUPERBIKER TV Event in California in 1980 and in 1981.
- Invited and raced for the American Team at the Match Race in England in 1986 and in 1987.
- Invited and raced in the 6 hour Endurance race in Australia in 1986.
- Invited and raced in the Japan Superbike Championship rounds of Sugo and Fiji in 1987
- Invited and raced in the GSXR cup challenge in Spain in 1987
- Invited and raced in the 24 hour Endurance of LeMan in France in 1990 for a French privateer constructor on a FULGUR.
- Owner of the oldest and #1 Advanced Motorcycle Riding School in Canada, FAST Riding school, now in its 24th year of operation.
- Raced Road Race for 10 years
- Raced Dirt Track for 3 years
- Raced Ice Race for 7 years
- Raced Motocross for 4 years
- 1981 TO 1990; 10 years
- In 1981 Michel was down and had nothing established for the summer of 81. He was broke and was confused with what he really wanted in his future. He was considering quitting racing to concentrate on his regular job. Then, one of his friends offered him a new challenge and try Road Racing. He offered him a bike to ride with the maintenance and the bike expense all paid for. His friend would race in one class and Michel in another. In exchange for this, Michel was to teach him how to race it. Michel accepted and said: “I have never Road Raced before but I know I can do it and be good at it. What ever I will learn, I will teach you.” Perfect deal done…
- Michel started Road Racing on a Yamaha Rd 350 and had a blast in the middle of a great learning season. He won many races and always placed well.
- The following year he got a Kawasaki GPZ 750 sponsored by Monette Sports who had sponsored him previously on the Ice. He also purchased himself a Kawasaki GPZ550 and raced the 2 bikes under his new number 11. With many race wins, he won the RACE National 750 Production Championships and the RACE National 550 Production Class.
- 1984: Michel was offered to ride 2 Suzukis, a 1150cc and a 550cc. George Morin was behind this agreement and helped Michel for the next 4 years.
- 1985: The year that the GSXR was born, Michel got used to it very well and brought it on the podium at almost every Canadian race that he entered. He stood out of the competition and became the rider to beat.
- 1986: Michel was offered motorcycles and a part budget to be the official Suzuki Canada rider and bring them the Canadian National #1 on the GSXR. Teaming up with George Morin as team manager and mike Crompton as mechanic, the job did get done. Michel won the Canadian National #1 on the GSX-R750.
- 1987: The competition showed lots of interest in gaining that #1. It became harder and harder to stay on top. Despite that challenge, all the necessary efforts were done and the #1 Plate stayed on Michel’s GSX-R. George Morin, Mike Crompton, Michel Mercier and his wife: a winning team, job well done…
- 1988: You can’t always get what you order and Michel could not repeat the #1 for a third year. He finished third to Ruben McMurther and Gary Goodfellow but always had great finishes and some wins.
- 1989: Another good year riding the GSXR with podiums and a win, but only good for a fourth place finish on the Canadian National Championship.
- 1990: It seemed that Suzuki Canada did not believe that at 38, Michel had what was needed to win another #1 for them. After negotiations, Michel decided to reorganize and put a new team together. He left and went to ride a YAMAHA OW01 under his own new FAST Riding School racing team that he put together with his wife Odette. With Rick Hobbs as engine man and Christian Monti as suspension man, they teamed up to get the job done. From the start, it looked good with a Pole position and a win. The #1 might go back on Michel’s bike… All the necessary efforts were made and the rest of the year looked about the same. In the 6 race Championship, Michel accumulated a total of 4 wins, 1 third, 1DNF (Did Not Finish) and 5 Pole Positions. It was more than he needed to win another #1 Plate showing that it can be done at 38.
- 1991: Michel quit racing after the season of 1990 and continued as team manager one more year with his FAST Riding School racing team. Pascal Picotte and Linley Clark were his #1 riders on YAMAHA OW01.
In 1980-81 Michel got a phone call, “We would like to invite you to compete in our TV event for the Wide World of Sport TV show. We want to crown the Ultimate Motorcycle Racer. We invite the Motorcycle Champions of every division of motorcycle racing to race in this special event. We heard that you are the Canadian Ice Racing Champion and would like to have you in our TV Show Race Event.” So Michel build a Superbiker from a borrowed friend’s motocross bike. A Can-Am 400cc the first year and a Can-Am 500 the second year. He manage to put road racing brakes at the front and 2 dirt track wheels to receive the proper tires. And down he went with his wife and a couple of friends.
“Wow, lots of work, but not that much of great bikes. But it is Ok, it is racing, all the equipment is free and I will find financial help to go. I went the 2 years and almost made the final every year in the middle of those tricky hot bikes racing agains guys like Eddie Lawson #1 World Road Racer, Magoo Chandler #1 US Motocrosser, Bubba Shubert, #1 US Dirt Tracker and 30 more coming from Europe and USA.”
- 1977, 78, 79; for 3 years
- After motocrossing for 4 years with decent results and being very quick on the ice every winter, Michel had to buy a Motocross bike to race Motocross while Can-Am agreed to let him use their 250cc Can-Am ice race sponsored bike for Dirt Track. So money talks and Michel decided to switch to this new venture of Dirt Tracking. So in the summer of 1997, Michel raced his last motocross race at the very first Montreal Supercross and left from there to go racing Dirt Track in Ontario. Knowing the meaning of YES, NO, MAYBE, CRASH and a few other English words, Michel left Quebec with his friend, ice race mechanic Daniel Perras. He raced the Can-Am 250cc in the Ontario and Canadian ½ mile championships. He won both Championships and the Canadian National Short Track Championship held at Welland Speedway.
- Michel learned a bit of English and made very good friends. One night, one of them, Jim Sehl from the well knowned dirt trackers Sehl family, offered him to race his Kenedy Triumph at the Welland Short Track. Michel did the job and won that night on Jim’s Triumph and the team was born. It lasted 2 years, 78 and 79 before Michel moved to Road Race. They went dirt tracking in Canada and in Northern United States. With Jim Sehl building such good dirt track race bikes and Michel learning quickly, the good results became part of their race week ends. In United States Michel got to be known as a very quick Canuck and was welcome at every American Dirt track event. “ I owe a lot to Jim. Without him as a mechanic, a sponsor and a friend, I know that my Dirt Track achievements would not have been half of what they were. He even gave me a roof for 2 summers. Thank you Jim, your wife and your whole family.”
- In the middle of 78, Jim and Michel received the help of Fred Deeley Import Harley Davidson with a brand new Harley XR750 dirt tracker. That came after M. Raymond Greff of Montreal Harley Davidson had asked M. Fred Deeley to help Michel. M. Greff was a friend of Michel from Michel’s early motocross time. "He was another key player in my carreer", Michel said. “That Harley was the most fun and serious bike to ride. Not the easiest, but the most fun, especially on half mile oval, in the loose up high and on the banking near the hay bales. It's an unbelievable thrill. It was a little scary, a little crazy and I now wonder how I was able to do that. I guess it was that absence of fear.”
- In his Dirt Track time, Michel lived at Jim’s home in Stoney creek and the Canadian Motorcycle Association helped him out with some work regarding communications with Quebec. That helped him a lot money wise and specially with his progression in learning English.
- 1974 TO 1980; for 7 years
- After his first Motocross season, Michel did not want to stop racing and studded his motocross bike to race on the ice in Quebec and in Ontario. Right away, he found himself at home with speed and slides. Quickly, he stood out and made himself known as a showman to watch for speed and slides. He won numerous championships along the way counting 5 National #1 Plates given to the winner of the quickest Pro class. One winter, he was invited to race an Indoor Ice Race series in Michigan hockey arenas. It was impossible to do the whole series but the few races that he did gave him valuable experience and helped him make good friends of the National USA Dirt Track series. Names like Scott Parker, Jay Springsteen, Ted Boody and a few others. With this experience, it gave him the idea of becoming an Ice Racing promotor as well to help financing his racing efforts. In 1978 he organised an indoor ice race race in his Thetford Mines hometown arena and the next year, a series of 4 races in 4 different Quebec towns; Thetford, Sherbrooke, St George and Ste-Marie. It never turned out to be a good business idea.
- Michel stopped Ice Racing in 1982, going to California to try and continue Road Racing which did not work. He came back to race in the Canadian Road Race season which he participated in every year after that.
- 1973, 74, 75, 76, for 4 years
- Starting at age 20, Michel raced the Quebec Championships and some Ontario races in 73 and 74. He won the Senior 250cc Quebec Championship.
- Raced the Quebec and National Champioships in 75, 76. Finished 6th in the 1976 Canadian National 125cc Pro class Championship.
- Michel was standing out mainly on quick circuits. He started on a 1972 JAWA 125cc that he had purchased with his own summer work money that he had put aside specially for racing. Along the way he raced on Suzuki, Honda and Bombardier Can-Am. In 1975, he was part of a few sponsored riders in the Bombardier Can-Am motocross racing team.
- In summer 1997, Michel raced his last Motocross race at the very first Montreal Supercross. He mised the main event won by Jim Ellis on Can-Am by 1 spot. He finished 4th in his heat and fourth as well in the Semi-Final. He then switch to Dirt Track.
Up to now, Michel has been a very active person right from his early age.
Until 15, he was practicing aggressive sports like hockey, ski, gymnastique, football. At 16 he started to ride snowmobile with his father and purchased his first motorcycle, a mini bike. His idea of racing became much stronger then.
The idea of racing started very early and came from his quick car rides with his father and the stock car races that he was spectating with him on Sundays at the local track. His father was a salesman on the road during the week and was delivering his sales on week ends bringing Michel with him in the country roads, from about 6 to 12 years old. As a young boy believing that his father is the greatest, Michel has just develop no feer for speed but a real taste for it. “My father never raced, but it was a mistake; that would have slowed him down on the road. I developed that thrill hearing the tires squealling in the turns and the motor roaring down the straight aways. In the winter, it was going sideways In early 60s there were no policeman to catch you on radar.”
- 1973 - Michel graduated from Highschool in 1970 and graduated as a mechanic technicien.
- 1973 - He started to race motorcycles at the age of 20.
- 1973-74 - Worked for Bombardier Ski-Doo in Quality Control.
- 1975-77 - Work for Bombardier Ski-Doo in Reserch Departement.
- 1978-79 - Work for Prevost Car (Highway bus manufacturer) in Quailty Control.
- 1980 - Work for Prevost Car as a test driver.
- 1981-85 - Work for NICAN parts & accessory distributor in Mississauga, ON.
- 1986 - Did not work. Collected unemployment from the governement and raced his only year without working for someone else at the same time.
- 1987-89 - Worked for FAST Racing School as organiser, manager, developer, teacher.
- 1990 - Purchased the FAST Racing School and change it to FAST Riding School.
- 1990 - Owner operator of FAST Riding School since.
- Has been teaching road racing since 1982.
- Has taught professional road racing since 1987.
- Raced from 1973 to 1990