In an effort to increase participation by women in motorcycle roadracing, the FIM’s Women in Motorcycling commission held a ladies-only roadracing camp last October at the 13-turn, 2.199-mile Circuit Albacete in southeastern Spain, with two of America’s fastest females on hand to help coach.
AMA Pro Road Racing regulars Shelina Moreda and Melissa Paris, along with former 250cc Grand Prix racer Ismael Bonilla, provided instruction to 24 women from 10 countries and four continents. BMW supported the camp with a fleet of S1000RRs.
The FIM may be on to something. Robust enthusiasm for the inaugural event took program planners by surprise, and the participants’ skill and speed knocked everyone’s socks off. “I’ve never seen so many super-fast, super-competitive females together at one track,” said Moreda.
Paris was likewise impressed. “All the girls were really talented,” she said. “It was good to learn more about the FIM and what they’re doing to encourage women in motorsports.”
Spanish championship regulars and Moto3 wildcards Ana Carrasco and Maria Herrera, as well as former 250cc Grand Prix competitor Katja Poensgen, provided inspiring special appearances at the three-day event.
“Now, we know that we are on the right track in our efforts to bring more women into racing,” said Commission Director Nita Korhonen. “These girls showed that they can really race and go fast.”
Plans are underway to organize several such camps next year. For more information, visit http://www.fim-live.com and click on the “FIM Women in Motorcycling” banner.