Thank you, Ana: the story of Carrasco’s inspirational achievements in WorldSSP300

Wednesday, 2 February 2022 12:38 GMT

The 2018 WorldSSP300 Champion heads for Moto3™ in 2022, but she leaves a stunning legacy

Ahead of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship commencing, the paddock will be without a rider who rewrote history. Ana Carrasco moves onto pastures new as she returns to the Moto3™ World Championship with the BOE SKX outfit. In five seasons of FIM Supersport 300 World Championship action, not only did Ana make history by winning races and a World Championship, but she inspired a generation of young girls to chase motorcycle racing as a career option. We look back on five years which saw Ana shine on the world stage.

When she made her debut in WorldSSP300’s first ever race, she finished tenth and in her next, it was seventh, showing her true potential and confirming her as a challenger in the class. Three more points-scoring finishes came before a landmark achievement at Portimao. Running third on the final lap, she slipstreamed her way to the line, passing Marc Garcia right at the end to take a historic victory, the first for a female in a solo motorcycle World Championship race. A stunning piece of history, Carrasco had now put herself right at the forefront of the class, relishing the fact that she had put her name in the record books. In 2018, the biggest achievement lay ahead.

For 2018, Carrasco would be locked in combat throughout the whole year as she duked it out for the Championship. Two podiums came as dominant victories, with Imola being the first, before she backed it up at Donington Park. Two pole positions and two fastest laps were also added to her tally, but a late dip in form saw the title race go right down to the wire with Mika Perez. Perez was looking like he’d win the final race of the year but was beaten by Dani Valle into the final corners at Magny-Cours, meaning Carrasco’s 13th place was good enough for her to become World Champion by a singular point in a thrilling finish, 93 points to Perez’s 92.In what was a breaking news story all around the world, Carrasco led the way in inspiring the next generation of females in motorsport. A stunning season with an incredible finish. The world of motorsport and beyond reacted, as the true emotion of the win set in. The hard work and lifelong dedication had finally paid off.

She got her title defence underway in 2019, although it wasn’t a straightforward start in what was now one of the most unpredictable classes of motorcycle racing World Championships. Despite a retirement and an eighth to start her season, she would go on to take more podiums than her two previous seasons put together. Two third places at Jerez preceded a victory at Misano, before she was back on the podium at Portimao and on top of the rostrum once more at Magny-Cours. 117 points left her third in the Championship, but it was a stellar season, nonetheless.

2020 saw Carrasco start strongly and remain in contention throughout the opening rounds, with three podiums – including one win – in the first five races. Fifth in the Championship and 33 points off the Championship lead after four rounds, Carrasco was closing in. However, disaster struck in a private test at Estoril, when she crashed hard and suffered a double vertebrae fracture. She missed the rest of the 2020, with her future a tad uncertain.

Determined not to give up, Carrasco returned to action for 2021, but it was a difficult year. Points in the opening three races preceded a thrilling return to victory at Misano in Race 2, with the 24-year-old taking an emotional win after all of the hard work to get back on a racing motorcycle following injury. She was overwhelmed on reflection, aiming to get her season underway. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and she wouldn’t get back to the podium for the remainder of the season.

With the news that she will return to the Moto3™ World Championship for 2022 with the BOE SKX outfit, Carrasco leaves behind her an everlasting legacy in the WorldSBK paddock. She’s helped inspire and influence people in motorcycle racing and beyond, a shining example of hard work, commitment and dedication never goes unnoticed. Along with Ana, Maria Herrera and many others have also helped contribute to the growing involvement with women in motorsport. Thank you, Ana, for everything you’ve achieved in the paddock, and we look forward to you doing the same in Moto3™, where you started this incredible World Championship journey.

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