Motorcycling, as a sport and as a hobby, has historically been dominated by men. But there are an ever-growing number of women across the globe turning to two wheels as a form of enjoyment or as a career.
Below are 10 of the most inspiring women currently on two wheels.
On September 27, 2017 at Portimao, Ana Carrasco became the first woman in history to win a world championship motorcycle road race when she stormed to a thrilling victory on her Kawasaki Ninja 300 in the FIM Supersport 300 race held at WSB events.
While there are other female champions in other disciplines such as motocross, the difference with Carrasco is that it wasn’t a women-only race, she did it against a field of 36 other riders – all of them men. MCN caught up with the 20-year-old from Murcia, Spain. She said: “I’m obviously really happy because we have worked hard and I feel that we deserved something like this. It feels good because everyone seems to be happy about the result – the media, the fans. It’s good for me, my team and for my future. Now I hope to have more opportunities.”
When quizzed about the fact that she has become an overnight role model for women around the world, Carrasco appears genuinely surprised and humbled but soon regains her composure.“This is really important and I am very proud of this. As a person I always try to make things better, so I think it is really important to show the younger generation that a woman can be on top and be doing good things. I think this is a good example to set.”
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Kiara Fontanesi is the most successful female motocross rider of all time. She has been FIM Women's Motocross world champion five times. In 2015 she became the first rider to win the championship four seasons in a row. At the age of just 15, Kiara took part in her first world championship race and came second in a world cup race.
Northamptonshire-born Costello made history in 2005 when she took third place in the Ultra Lightweight category at the Manx Grand Prix to become the first female solo racer to stand on an Isle of Man podium. She's gone onto win eight Manx Grand Prix silver replicas, as well as one TT bronze replica. In 2009 Maria was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Jenny is the current female lap record holder for the Isle of Man TT, with an average speed of 119.945mph, which she set in 2010. She was also the first and only female motorcycle racer to compete in British Superbikes.
In 1982, at the age of 23, Elspeth Beard set off from London on her BMW R60/6 on a journey that would last 35,000 miles and change her life forever. It would also write her into the history books as the first British woman to travel the world by motorcycle. She still rides the same bike today and recently published a book about her journey.
Spaniard Laia Sanz is, to put it lightly, an off-road god. She's taken the Women's World Trial championship just 13 times. No biggy. She also won five Women's World Enduro championships in a row, from 2012 to 2016. In 2011 Laia took part in the Dakar Rally for the first time, finishing as the first woman, and 39th overall. Her best result at the infamous rally came in 2015, when she finished in ninth place riding a Honda.
In 2003 Patsy Quick became the first British female to compete in the Dakar Rally, and just three years later became the first to complete it. She now runs the Desert Rose Adventure Riding Academy.
Lucy Glockner is a German racer currently competing in the FIM World Endurance Championship for BMW. At this year's Bol d'Or she claimed a historic first podium with her team. She finished second in the German Superstock 1000 championship in 2015.
Maria Herrera competed in the 2017 Moto3 championship for the AGR KTM Team. 2017 wass her fifth season in the championship, and she recorded a best championship result of 29th in 2015. She currently races in the World Supersport 300 series.
Shelina Moreda might not be a name you've come across before, but she's competed all over the world on two wheels. She began riding at the age of 12 on her family's farm and she was the first female motorcyclist to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She was also part of the first female team to complete the Suzuka 8hr. She also finished first in the Women's Championship in Qatar in 2016. She was also once a cover girl for Elle.
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