‘The bike is so fast!’ - Ana Carrasco tests Kawasaki ZX-10RR

2018 WorldSSP 300 Champion Ana Carrasco is rewarded with a WorldSBK test on Jonathan Rea's title-winning Kawasaki ZX-10RR

Ana Carrasco

2018 WorldSSP 300 Champion Ana Carrasco got her first taste of Superbike machinery with a special outing on Jonathan Rea’s WorldSBK title-winning Kawasaki ZX-10RR at Valencia, describing it as a bike ‘that gives you everything’.

The 22-year-old made history in 2018 by becoming the first woman to win a solo motorcycle racing World Championship when she clinched the WorldSSP 300 title against a hugely competitive field. She followed that up with third overall in the same series this season and has now won five races at this discipline.

Carrasco, who also scored a top ten personal best in the Moto3 World Championship when she was 16-years-old, was rewarded with a few laps on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR that carried Rea to his fifth WorldSBK title in 2019.

Getting expert tuition from the man himself, Carrasco says she enjoyed her first experience of a ‘big bike’, admitting its brakes and power were particularly surprising.

“It was really nice and really amazing,” began Carrasco. “The bike is so fast, and the brake point is really hard. There is a big difference between the 300 and the Superbike. Jonny told me the gears in every corner and the way I have to ride the bike, I have to stop the bike in the middle of the corner and stand it up fast.

“I expected a lot of power, but it surprised me a lot, the power of the brakes. I can feel every bump and every movement on the bike, the feeling is bigger. It is nice to ride a bike that gives you everything.

Could we see Ana Carrasco competing in WorldSBK?

At only 22, Carrasco has achieved a lot in her junior years regardless of whether she is a woman or a man.

Arguably the most impressive female motorcycle racer in the world right now, Carrasco’s achievements in WorldSSP – which can see fields of more than 50 entries on one weekend – are on the bottom line simply impressive. Over three years (26 races) she’s achieved five wins, eight podiums and only failed to finish a single race.

Competing with the tongue-in-cheek tagline ‘ride like a girl’, while won’t look too far beyond her gender on face value, her true value is demonstrated by her skills on track and adept hands at the controls of a racing bike.

Next season Carrasco will continue in WorldSSP 300 for another crack at the title with Kawasaki but it is likely she’ll get a shot in the ‘600’ WorldSSP class before long, with many no doubt hoping it leads to a WorldSBK future. Either way, she’ll get there on credit alone.

Perhaps more exciting is the way Carrasco, along with other trailblazers as WorldSSP and MotoE rider Maria Herrera and road racing specialist Maria Costello, has inspired a new generation of female racers to come up through the ranks.

And this can only be fantastic for the sport.