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‘A woman in a man’s world’: Ana Carrasco

Ana Carrasco has battled riders, inexperience and attitudes in her first FIM MotoGP season as part of the Moto3 field and on the Team Calvo KTM alongside eventual world champion Maverick Viñales. She notched six top twenty finishes until arriving at Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix in October where 15th position meant she was the first female to score GP points in twelve years and the first since 1995 in the small cylinder catergory. ‘32’ ended her maiden term with a personal best 8th place at Valencia last week. It has been an immense sporting baptism for the sixteen year old from Murcia and we caught up with her after the last race of the year in Spain to see what she had to say about it…

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On the learning curve…
One of the main things I learned was the capacity to go out on a track you’ve never seen before and go quickly. In the world championship riders go out in first practice and they are instantly almost a second off lap-record pace, so it’s really hard to match it straight away, and then they only get quicker! I also learned lots about set-up and how you gradually get a feeling for the bike because you’re onboard every two weeks.

On traversing the world as part of her job…and her favourite race.
Travelling the world was so strange at first; it’s odd to think that you’re off to ride and you fly to the United States or something. You get used to it eventually and it becomes one of the things that makes the world championship so special. I liked Australia best this season, the track was fantastic, the result wasn’t too bad – especially in qualifying – and the place itself is beautiful. It so different to being in Spain.

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On her gender and how it affects her progress…
I do feel a little bit more pressure, because everyone is looking out for my results and what I achieve. If a boy comes in and finishes last or wherever, then it’s normal and nobody really pays attention and that’s that. If a girl does it then everyone is looking at them. It’s a little more difficult, and you have to completely ignore what some people say, especially the journalists, because otherwise you’d never go quickly!

On her team and being next to the world champion…
I’ve got on well in the paddock, and especially in this team because they made it so easy for me to adapt. So I’m really pleased I got to do this first year with them and I think a big part of the fact that it’s gone quite well is down to those people. I get on really well with my team-mate (Maverick Viñales) he’s a great person and we’ve had lots of fun together this year. There are some riders I get on with better than others, but most of them are ok with me. I get on particularly well with Jasper Iwema, because we trained together a bit in pre-season and he’s a funny guy.

On 2013 overall and what next for 2014…
It’s been a really positive year for me and I’ve been able to learn lots, but more than anything I’ve been picking up valuable experience that will only help me in the future.
For next year I’m still not sure where I will be racing, but once I know what team and bike I am on then I will have a better idea of where I can reach.

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Photos by Gold and Goose