DO­ING IT FOR THE GIRLS

Fast Bikes - - PIT PASS -

It­may have ‘only’ been in the FIM World Su­per­sport 300 se­ries, but Ana Car­rasco’s vic­tory at Por­ti­mao was, and will al­ways be, aland­mark event. To be the first ever fe­male racer to win a world cham­pi­onship road rac­ing event is some achieve­ment and, let’s be hon­est, if you sawthe race you’d know she wasn’t handed it! Ana fought tooth and nail all race long, tak­ing the lead on sev­eral oc­ca­sions while bat­tling with the boys, namely in this in­stance Marc Gar­cia and Al­fonso Cop­pola, andthe rest of the bonkers SS300 pack.It was ac­tu­ally a blind­ingly good race, as many of the­series’ out­ings have been, even though the bikes look ap­pallingly slow on the straights. The Cir­cuit Al­garve was aper­fect place for the class though, with its ups, downs and tricky curves to con­quer.Ana took her­win on the fi­nal run to the line, sur­rounded by a clutch of squab­bling boys, and se­cured her place in rac­ing leg­end join­ing many of the sport’s great­est fe­male rac­ers in the his­tory books. Rac­ing in the­new mil­len­nium is a far cry from the days of Beryl Swain and her 48 mph av­er­age speed lap of the Isle of Man TT on a 50cc racer. There have been­many girls who’ve given rac­ing ago, to vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess, over­the in­ter­ven­ing decades. Some of them you’ll be very fa­mil­iar with like BSB’s Jenny Tin­mouth, Elena My­ers in AMA, Maria Costello at the TT and Maria Her­rera who raced in Moto 3, just like Ana didf or awhile be­fore set­tling on giv­ing the­new 300class a crack. There are also as­tack who do the Ir­ish Road Rac­ing scene as well. We may be wait­ing for true suc­cess to come out of many of these places, but the ladies are al­ready quite well rep­re­sented. One of the less well­known ones these­days, though not so long ago, was Katja Poens­gen who won­the Euro­pean Su­per mono se­ries, and scored points in 250 GPs on an Aprilia. We know a bunch of guys who raced the Su­per mono class, and they’ve al­ways tipped their cap to­wards Katja when rem­i­nisc­ing about be­ing stuffed by agirl. There are also a bunch of women do­ing great stuff in other mo­tor­cy­cle dis­ci­plines, like Tri­als and En­duro. The best thing about A na’ s vic­tory though, is that she will hope­fully in­spire many more to have ago. There must have­been alot of young girls watch­ing that race in Por­tu­gal with their fam­i­lies who, now Ana has done it, are think­ing they could too. Road rac­ing isn’t split up (like many other dis­ci­plines are) into gen­der as­signed classes. If they want to play, then they play with boys–just how it shouldbe. We won­der if there’s a lit­tle girl out there who watched Ana’s vic­tory, who may­one day make it al­lthe way to the top? You know what, we sure hope there is…

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