Lining up on the front line of the starting grid was a new experience for 20-year-old Ana Carrasco. After competing in Moto3 competition for three years, she had barely seen a finish better than 20th place. Now, she was in the World Supersport 300 series, a new category running as a support class for the World Superbike Championship. She had qualified 3rd for the Portimao round, and as the lights went out and started another thrilling race, she knew competition would be fierce.
How a Woman Won a World Championship Race
On pole for this race was Alfonso Coppola, the championship runner up, followed by the championship leader, Marc Garcia. Both riders are standouts in wildly competitive series, but that competition made itself apparent from the very start of this race.
A group of Yamaha riders, all on the same team as Garcia, charged out of the gate, swamping Coppola and forcing him down to 7th place. With a dash of good timing and riding Garcia was able to take the holeshot, followed by teammate Borja Sánchez. Through the mad scramble, Carrasco managed to hang on to third place, and she wouldn’t let the position go.
For the rest of the race, Carrasco help onto third place like a dog with a bone. She hammered Garcia and Sánchez repeatedly, taking second place and first place lap after lap. Soon the other riders in the top three positions were throwing signals at each other, trying to stop the fighting amongst each other so the group as a whole could break away from the rest of the pack. The strategy didn’t work.
Mika Perez stormed through the pack of riders competing for fourth place, and he took Alfonso Coppola with him. As the race entered its final laps, Coppola and Perez had joined the scrap for the lead. The five racers dove in and out of each other, draft passing, out breaking and out riding each other to the bitter end.
Ana Carrasco handled the intense pressure, continuing her laser focused pursuit of victory. When the group came around to start the last lap, Carrasco took the lead, but she wouldn’t keep it. In turn 13 of the final lap, Mika Garcia passed Ana on the inside—only three corners remained in the race! As the racers rounded the final corner, Carrasco gunned her motorcycle to full throttle. Using a combination of draft and her Kawasaki Ninja 300’s amazing power, she sailed past Garcia and won.
This is how Ana Carrasco became the first woman to win a world championship motorcycle race. There were no convenient crashes, there were no bad weather conditions. She fought alongside serious competition and won. Congratulations Ana—from the motorcycling attorneys at Metier Law Firm. Now go win some more races!