Ana Carrasco Gabarrón (born 10 March 1997) is a Spanish motorcycle racer, who won the 2018 World Supersport 300 Championship riding a Kawasaki Ninja 400 with the David Salom Junior Team, to become the first female rider in history to win a World Championship in solo motorcycle road racing. For the 2019 season, Carrasco will be supported by Barcelona-based Provec Racing as a works team, in conjunction with Kawasaki Motors Europe.

Ana Carrasco
Ana Carrasco 2013.jpg
Carrasco practicing at the 2013 British Grand Prix
NationalitySpanish
Born (1997-03-10) 10 March 1997 (age 22)
Murcia, Spain
Current teamProvec Racing
Bike number22
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Moto3 World Championship
Active years20132015
ManufacturersKTM, Kalex KTM
Championships0
2015 championship positionNC (0 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
46 0 0 0 0 9

She began riding a minibike at the age of three after her elder sister did not use it. Carrasco attained success in the domestic junior motorcycle racing categories with victories in the 125cc Extremeño Speed Championship and the 125cc Murcia-Pre-GP Championship in 2009. She moved to the FIM CEV International Championship in 2011, becoming the first woman to score points in the series, and switched to the CEV Moto3 Championship the following year.

Carrasco began competing in the Moto3 World Championship in 2013 for JHK Laglisse. She was the first woman to score points in the series by finishing fifteenth at the Malaysian Grand Prix and repeated the feat with an eighth at the season-closing Valencian Community Grand Prix. Carrasco moved to RW Racing in 2014 but her season ended early due to sponsorship problems and had an injury-ridden campaign with RBA Racing Team in 2015. In 2016, she struggled in the FIM CEV Moto2 European Championship with Griful though a switch to ETG Racing in the newly formed Supersport 300 World Championship in 2017 ended with the first victory for a woman in a World Championship solo motorcycle race, in the seventh round at the Algarve International Circuit.

Personal backgroundEdit

Carrasco was born on 10 March 1997 in the Region of Murcia village of Cehegín in Southeastern Spain.[1][2] Her family has connections to motorcycle racing: her father Alfonso Carrasco acted as a mechanic for multi Spanish National Champion and 250cc World Championship rider José David de Gea.[1] Carrasco has cited Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner as the two motorcycle riders she idolises. She was educated at Secondary School Ies Vega del Argos and has combined her studies with her racing career and training.[3] Carrasco played association football, basketball, swimming and tennis during her education years before she stopped partaking in all four sports aged 12 to focus on motorcycling.[4] In September 2015, Carrasco enrolled at the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia to study a law degree.[5]

CareerEdit

Early years: 2001–2012Edit

Carrasco began riding a minibike at the age of three after her elder sister was given it but did not use it.[6][7] Her first competitive race followed in 2001.[6] Carrasco received early career advice from her father and de Gea though racing was initially her hobby.[1][8] She attained her first junior category success when she was runner-up in the Bancaja Championship in 2005,[9] and placed second in the Madrid and Andalucia 70cc Territorial Championships the year after.[10] In 2007, Carrasco was twelfth in the 70cc Junior World Championship. She focused on the Murcia 80cc and 125cc Championships in 2008 and was runner-up and third respectively.[9] Carrasco became the first woman to win the five-round 125cc Extremeño Speed Championship in 2009 and followed with the six-event 125cc Murcia-Pre-GP Championship title, the first female to claim the accolade, along with the two-stroke Castrol Cup.[11] She also placed ninth in the 125cc PreGP World Championship.[9] In 2010, Carrasco was fourth in the 125cc Mediterranean Championship and came fifth in the 125cc Motovast Championship.[10]

She began competing in the 125cc category of the FIM CEV International Championship in 2011 after reaching the minimum age in order to become eligible to compete in the series.[6][11] Carrasco became the first woman to score points in the series by placing 16th at the Circuito de Jerez event.[7] She was 13th in the Drivers' Championship at the end of the season.[10] Carrasco moved to the CEV Moto3 Championship to ride Team LaGlisse's Honda NSF250R for 2012 as preparation for a Moto3 campaign the year after.[12] There, she achieved another feat in Spanish motorcycle racing history by qualifying sixth for the season-opening round at Circuto de Jerez, the highest attained by a female Spanish competitor.[13] Carrasco came seventh in the next day's race.[14] Thereafter, she took two more points finishes with consecutive eleventh and tenth-place results at the Circuito de Albacete rounds to rank nineteenth in the final Riders' Championship standings with twenty points accrued.[15]

Moto3 World Championship: 2013–2015Edit

In November 2012, it was announced Carrasco would join JHK Laglisse on one of their KTM bikes for the 2013 Moto3 World Championship and was the first woman to take part in the category.[16] She set herself the objective of scoring points in the season.[17] Although she struggled to attain consistent good results in her rookie season, Carrasco claimed the first points finish for a woman in Moto3 when she came 15th at the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit. The achievement made her the first woman to score points in Grand Prix motorcycle racing since Katja Poensgen in the 250cc category at the 2001 Italian Grand Prix.[18] Carrasco repeated the feat at the season-closing Valencian Community Grand Prix with a category-best placing of eighth. It was the best finish for a female motorcycle rider in all categories since Tomoko Igata took seventh at the 1995 Czech Republic Grand Prix in the 125cc class.[19] She finished her debut season with nine points and ranked 21st in the final Riders' Championship standings.[20]

 
Carrasco competing for RW Racing on its Kalex KTM bike at the 2014 French Grand Prix.

RW Racing announced in December 2013 that Carrasco had signed to ride their Kalex KTM bike for the 2014 Moto3 season.[21] She stated to the press that she aimed to continue scoring points after having a year acquainting herself with new circuits but knew that it would be more difficult in 2014.[22] Carrasco raced in fourteen of the eighteen rounds held over the course of the season but was unable to take part in the final four races of the year due to a lack of funding from sponsors.[23] It came after she was forbidden by RW Racing to mount her bike during the opening practice sessions of the San Marino and Rimini's Coast race due to half of the €250,000 annual entry fee being paid to them.[24] In fourteen rounds, Carrasco's best finish was twentieth at the Italian and German Grands Prix and was not classified in the Riders' Championship because she failed to score any points owing to a difficult handling bike.[25][26]

In late September 2014, she reached an agreement to race for RBA Racing Team in 2015. She rode a year-old KTM bike due to regulation change problems.[26][27][28] Carrasco was required to withdraw from the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix because doctors ruled she was not medically fit to compete after fracturing her right collarbone in a pre-season test session accident at the Circuto de Jerez the week before the race.[29] Her place was taken by Loris Cresson.[30] Carrasco came back for the next eight races and had a season-best finish of 18th at the French Grand Prix in May.[25] She injured the top of the humerus in her left shoulder by colliding with María Herrera at the German Grand Prix and was rested for Indianapolis and Brno.[31] Carrasco underwent surgery at Barcelona's Hospital Universitari Dexeus where she had a titanium plate inserted to repair the fracture. It was immobilised for the next two weeks before her rehabilitation began.[32] Carrasco was replaced by Isaac Viñales during her recuperation period.[33] She returned at Silverstone but scored no points in the season's remaining seven races and was unranked in the Riders' Championship.[25]

CEV Moto2 European Championship: 2016Edit

She decided not to return to Grand Prix motorcycle racing in 2016 because she did not receive any offers with a competitive team.[34] Carrasco switched to the FIM CEV Moto2 European Championship in 2016 and rode the Griful MVR-M2 after more than a month of negotiations with the team.[35] She said that her objective was to win races in the category and enter Moto2 in 2017.[34] Carrasco started from the pit lane at the season-opening race at Circuit Ricardo Tormo and was later disqualified for ignoring instructions from the race director to serve a ride-through penalty.[36] Later in the season, her team switched bike manufacturers from MVR to a 2014 Suter.[37] At the season's conclusion, Carrasco did not score any points and was not classified in the final standings because her best finish in all races she entered was eighteenth at the first Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya race.[38][39]

Supersport 300 World Championship: 2017–2019Edit

She moved to the newly formed Supersport 300 World Championship for its inaugural season in 2017.[38] Carrasco rode a Kawasaki Ninja 300 entered by ETG Racing on a one-year contract with the option for an extension into 2018.[38][40] Her objective was to do the best of her ability and try to battle for the championship.[40] Carrasco began with a tenth-place finish at the Ciudad del Motor de Aragón race.[41] She continued to ride well thereafter, scoring points in the next five rounds with 26 accrued.[42] On 17 September, Carrasco was running in the top three and overtook two riders by slipstreaming them on the main straight of the Algarve International Circuit on the final lap to become the first woman to win an individual world championship motorcycle race.[43] She claimed one further points finish at the season-ending round at Circuto de Jerez and tied Dorren Loureiro on points with 59 but placed eighth in the championship standings due to her sole victory.[42] In January 2018, Carrasco was issued a Golden Penguin Award for her 2017 campaign.[44]

She changed teams to ride the DS Junior-entered Kawasaki Ninja 400 in 2018.[45] Carrasco obtained the ride through crowdfunding after sudden budget problems.[46] At the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari round, she became the first woman rider to secure pole position in the Supersport 300 World Championship and won the race the day after to make herself the first female to lead a World Championship motorcycle racing series.[47] Carrasco repeated both feats at the next round of the season at Donington Park two weeks later to extend her championship lead.[46] After that, she struggled in the next three rounds of the season due to regulations limiting the performance of her bike and the weight limit for the rider and her cycle.[48] Carrasco's nearest rival and teammate Scott Deroue was ten points behind her entering the season-ending race at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours.[49] Deroue retired due to mechanical problems and Carrasco took 13th as another championship rival Mika Pérez led the field before he Daniel Valle overtook him on the final lap.[49] That gave Carrasco the championship, making her the first woman in history to claim a motorcycle road racing world championship.[49] For her season, she was one of five nominations for the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year, decided in February 2019.[50]

Before the 2019 season, Carrasco switched to Barcelona-based Provec Racing in conjunction with Kawasaki Motors Europe to again ride the Ninja 400 model. She moved to Barcelona on 8 January to commence a physical training programme, which combined dirt bike and flat track racing with motocross testing.[51] Carrasco began to be advised and mentored by superbike rider Jonathan Rea.[4] She clinched two victories in 2019: the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli and the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours races.[52][53] Carrasco took a further three podium finishes during the season and finished third in the drivers' standings with 117 points.[54]

StatisticsEdit

Grand Prix motorcycle racingEdit

By seasonEdit

Season Class Motorcycle Team Race Win Podium Pole FLap Pts Plcd
2013 Moto3 KTM Team Calvo 17 0 0 0 0 9 21st
2014 Moto3 Kalex KTM RW Racing GP 14 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2015 Moto3 KTM RBA Racing Team 15 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Total 46 0 0 0 0 9
Source:[25]

Races by yearEdit

(key)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos. Pts
2013 Moto3 KTM QAT
20
AME
20
SPA
Ret
FRA
19
ITA
26
CAT
22
NED
29
GER
24
IND
17
CZE
23
GBR
22
RSM
19
ARA
20
MAL
15
AUS
19
JPN
18
VAL
8
21st 9
2014 Moto3 Kalex KTM QAT
24
AME
21
ARG
23
SPA
23
FRA
22
ITA
20
CAT
30
NED
24
GER
20
IND
26
CZE
Ret
GBR
29
RSM
24
ARA
22
JPN AUS MAL VAL NC 0
2015 Moto3 KTM QAT AME
22
ARG
26
SPA
27
FRA
18
ITA
25
CAT
23
NED
23
GER
Ret
IND CZE GBR
Ret
RSM
25
ARA
27
JPN
29
AUS
18
MAL
23
VAL
24
NC 0
Source:[25]

Supersport 300Edit

Year Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pos. Pts Ref
2017 Kawasaki ESP
10
NED
7
ITA
12
UK
9
ITA
14
GER
12
POR
1
FRA
20
ESP
14
8th 59 [42]
2018 Kawasaki ESP
6
NED
4
ITA
1
UK
1
CZE
11
ITA
10
POR
10
FRA
13
1st 93 [55]
2019 Kawasaki ESP
Ret
NED
8
ITA
C
ESP
3
ESP
3
ITA
1
UK
19
POR
3
MAG
1
QAT
5
3rd 117 [54]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit