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SA’s fastest female superbike racer to compete in global series

She will take part in the inaugural FIM women's circuit racing championship from June.

In a major coup for women in motorsport, South Africa’s fastest female superbike racer, Nicole van Aswegen (Nix21), left for Europe on May 13 to participate in the FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship in June.

The world championship will include an inaugural FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship (World WCR) as a support class, which will be held over six rounds at selected European tracks.

Over 40 riders applied to compete in the World WCR.

Only 24 were selected to take part in the first edition of the series, which will start with the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round on June 14.

Van Aswegen said this will be the pinnacle of her career and a dream come true – the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.

Commenting on the level of training required for an event like this, she said it takes hours of practice on the track, pushing yourself and your bike to the limit. Secondly, tons of physical training.

“I am in the gym twice a day most days, doing both fitness and strength training. Finally, and perhaps the biggest challenge is trying to prepare mentally.

“I don’t doubt that many of the women I will be competing against are much younger, professional riders that get paid to race.

“I am a wife, and a mom and have a full-time job. It takes a lot of strength and courage to put yourself out there for the world to the judge. I am truly blessed to have the most amazing people stand by me on this journey,” she said.

The rider said she’s passionate about motorcycle racing, adding she lives, eats and sleeps the sport and has dreamt about it since a teenager.

“South Africa is relatively far behind most developed countries with the number of female riders declining over the years.

“There is a lot of work to be done to get the numbers up to a level where we can have a good representation of female riders and, ultimately, at least two female-only race classes,” she said.

While sponsorship remains a challenge and an obstacle to growth, she feels with more media coverage and motorsport fans being more accepting of women in motorsport, corporates are starting to see the value in backing females in the sport.

“This is such a proud moment and a huge opportunity to fly the flag for South Africa. Being competitive, I want to win, but I think this journey is more than just performing well on track.

“I want to show my daughter and all the young girls in our beautiful country that anything is possible – they must not let their doubts and fears hold them back.

“Girls do not need to be put in little stereotypical boxes. They are free to make their own choices, to break out of conventional norms and just follow their dreams, no matter what those dreams may be.”

Van Aswegen added she’s ready to wear her heart on her sleeve and represent the country with pride.

“I’m putting my heart on my sleeve, and I am going out there to show what South Africans are made of. It has taken blood, sweat, and tears, but I’m still standing, and I am ready to make SA proud,” she concluded.

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