Ana Carrasco writes her chapter in the history of world motorcycling
Algarve International Circuit. Portimao, Portugal. 17 September 2017. Being only 20 years old, Spanish motorcyclist Ana Carrasco climbed the podium to become the first woman to win a world championship.
Carrasco is an indefatigable fighter. Her career is punctuated by important milestones. She took his first steps in the Spanish circuit on a 125cc motorcycle and in 2003, she moved on to Moto3. At 16, she was the youngest female motorcyclist to enter a world championship.
She was also the youngest female motorcyclist in Spain to quality for a GP, scoring the eighth best position in Cheste. Carrasco believes women should play a more important role in world motorcycling. She is currently a member of ETG Racing, the squad with which she is taking part in the Supersport 300 World Championship.
You have become the first woman to win a world championship. How does it feel?
I’m very happy. I’ve worked hard for something like this. I’m satisfied with myself and with my team, and I’d like to share this with all the people who’ve supported me throughout the years.
Please, tell us about the race…
It’s been a difficult race, indeed. I had it under control, however, having felt at ease throughout the weekend. The motorbike was ok and my chances were high. I chose my strategy and it worked out.
What else can I tell you…? The first win was just amazing! I felt so good, I just wanted to celebrate. It was a well-earned reward.
You were also the first Spanish female motorcyclist with a qualifying score in a Moto3 world championship. Do you feel like a pioneer in female motorcycling?
You could say that, I guess. However, at the end of the day, I think of myself as a motorcyclist, working hard for achievements and in so doing, giving visibility to women in motorcycling. I’ve been very lucky in being able to accomplish a series of goals that matter to me and to women’s sports at large.
The number of women who ride motorcycles is on the rise, mainly thanks to women like you, who pave the way. We could mention María Herrera or Elena Rosell. Do you think your success could encourage other girls to follow in your footsteps?
Yes, I think that in the past few years, we’ve shown Spain is the breeding ground of top-level female motorcyclists. However, reaching the top echelon and taking part in world championships is still quite difficult. I hope my example offers women a new look at motorcycling, encouraging them to join the elite. It’s not easy, but with hard work it can be done.
Do you think the world of motorcycling makes it more difficult for women?
I’d say it does, yes. To me, the most difficult part has been getting people to trust me, making them believe a woman can be a world champion. After all, no-one had done it before me, so it’s quite understandable that they found it hard to believe in me…
But you have managed to tear down this ideological barrier…
Oh, yes. And I hope this results in greater opportunities for female motorcyclists, especially when it comes to competition. Being there isn’t enough; you have to be in good shape too. The goal is to have a team that gives you the chance to fight for a place on the podium.
Spaniards are leaders in motorcycling. What do you think are the prospects for motorcycling in Spain?
For the past few years, Spaniards have been part of the elite of world motorcycling, producing top-level MotoGP motorcyclists and training junior riders. In fact, many foreign motorcyclists are coming to Spain to further their careers, given the highly competitive level we have here.
Moreover, it’s a golden opportunity for us, Spanish motorcyclists, to make progress in the best possible environment, alongside the leading figures of this sport. It’s quite stimulating for young riders, being surrounded by the best motorcyclists and wanting to be like them.
I hope the tide never turns, so we can continue to be represented by amazing motorcyclists in the world’s most important GPs.