FIM shows support for Sharni Pinfold following her decision to quit racing amid sexism claims

Sharni Pinfold on her WorldSSP300 debut at Magny-Cours last year
Sharni Pinfold on her WorldSSP300 debut at Magny-Cours last year

The FIM has responded following Sharni Pinfold’s decision to quit racing due to the sexist treatment that she has been subjected to, and witnessed, during her time in the motorsport industry. 

The Australian racer has made great progress over the last few seasons, moving from domestic championships in Australia to the IDM Supersport series. Pinfold, from Perth, has also previously competed in the HEL Performance Motostar British Championship Moto3 series. 

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Pinfold made her World Supersport 300 debut at Magny-Cours last season, riding for Smrz Racing onboard a Kawasaki Ninja 400, and was set to race for RT Motorsports by SKM in the 2021 IDM Supersport 300 Championship. 

However, Pinfold has made the difficult decision to step away from motorcycle racing due to the sexism she’s experienced within the sport. In a statement released on her official Instagram page, Pinfold explained:

“Throughout my journey in motorsport, I have experienced and been exposed to many challenges, some that I struggle to even speak about. Most of the challenges I have faced, have been sourced from the lack of respect and derogatory treatment of women. Things that I know that I would never have to experience or be exposed to if I was a male.

There comes a point where enough is enough, and I feel like I have reached that point. I feel that I no longer want to continue to be exposed to this behaviour or to be treated this way. This deeply saddens me. It deeply saddens me to look at the challenges of my own journey and to acknowledge the fact that women dedicating their lives to perusing their dreams are being exposed to this and are being treated this way. This has been the main contributing factor of my decision to step away.”

The FIM has now responded to Pinfold’s statement and has offered its support to the 25-year-old and is taking her claims very seriously. 

“The FIM and the Australian Motorcycling Federation have maintained close contact with Pinfold to understand the facts which led to her decision to stop racing,” today’s statement reads. “We would like to stress that Sharni Pinfold can count on the unconditional support of the FIM to overcome this challenge. The FIM recalls that the practice of motorcycling is open to all without discrimination and condemns any form of behaviour contrary to these values. Any form of discrimination based on political, religious, sexual or racial grounds shall never be tolerated.

“Since 2006 the FIM Women in Motorcycling Commission (CFM) has been working hard to create equal opportunities and promote equal treatment for women involved in motorcycle-related activities.”

CFM Director, Ms Nita Korhonen added: “The FIM does not accept any kind of discrimination towards our riders, regardless of their gender. We are one motorcycling family, everyone is welcome. No inappropriate or disturbing comments or actions shall be tolerated. We aim at supporting all riders and enabling them to pursue their dreams and keep their motivation high.

“The FIM Women in Motorcycling Commission, together with the FIM and its stakeholders, continue to work hard to improve gender equality in our sport at all levels.”

Today’s statement also included further comments from Pinfold, who now wishes to raise awareness of the treatment she and other female racers have gone through.

“From experiencing what I have in my own journey, my wish is that I am able to contribute to the awareness of disrespectful and misogynistic treatment towards females,” Pinfold said. “I truly hope I am able to encourage the much-needed improvement throughout the motorcycle industry and all industries where females are treated differently. This is not just me, there are many other women that have been treated poorly and as a result I hope to be able to empower others to know the importance and value of self-worth.

“It would be easy for me to sit back and point fingers at the people responsible, but I feel that true strength is determined by how we respond. I am not here to be a victim; I am here to stand for what is right and extend that message outwardly for all women. I am grateful for the support and for the measures taken by the FIM, with the clear focus being equality for all. This is what we stand for.”

Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.