"Super good level…really fast" – Marquez, Bagnaia, Bautista and other MotoGP™and WorldSBK stars talk WorldWCR

Wednesday, 12 June 2024 06:09 GMT

Ahead of the inaugurual FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship, the star-studded MotoGP™ and WorldSBK paddocks offered their thoughts on the new Championship, as well as sharing some personal stories about the riders.

With action coming ever closer to resuming in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, excitement and anticipation continues to build for the new FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship. With history inching ever closer to being made, riders of both the MotoGP™ and WorldSBK paddocks, many of whom grew up alongside the women making history, offered their support, as well as some personal anecdotes along the way.

“I KNOW SHE CAN DO REALLY WELL”: Maria Herrera highly rated

One of the brightest prospects in the new WorldWCR Championship is Spaniard Maria Herrera, a highly accomplished competitor across multiple different competitions, including a fourth-place finish in the FIM CEV Repsol series in 2014. Herrera also has several high-profile supporters across the paddocks. Reigning WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista spoke in glowing terms about Herrera, saying: “I have a really, really good friend there; her name is Maria Herrera. We have trained together many times, and I know how much potential she has. I know she can do really well.” Ex-MotoGP™ World Champion Fabio Quartararo also sang the praises of Herrera and referenced the fact that the two used to be JuniorGP teammates. The Frenchman said: “In Jerez in 2014, she overtook me on the final corner to the finishing straight to win. She showed the potential that women have to be there.”

I WILL BE CHEERING FOR HER!”:  Bezzecchi and Bagnaia talk Ponziani and Neila

Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team rider Marco Bezzecchi spoke about compatriot Roberta Ponziani. Recollecting about past experiences racing his fellow Italian, Bezzecchi said: “I was racing with Roberta in Minibikes in the Italian Championship. She’s a very good rider. I remember having some battles with her; she was very tough! I admire her, and I will be cheering for her!” Bezzecchi and fellow Italian, Ducati Lenovo Team MotoGP rider and reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Francesco Bagnaia also discussed Beatriz Neila and the impact she can have on this championship. Bezzecchi said: “I met her at the Mastercamp. We raced against each other at the (VR46) Ranch. She was quick as well!” Bagnaia also edified Neila’s talent, saying: “I remember her racing in the 100km. Her feeling on the bike was very good.”

“SHE WAS AT A SUPER GOOD LEVEL”: Marc Marquez praises Ongaro

French native Ornella Ongaro is one of the most accomplished riders taking their place in this new Championship. With over fifty career podiums to her name, as well as forty victories. She also won the FFM Women’s Cup in 2016. And she has also previously raced against a true modern legend. Gresini Racing MotoGP’s Marc Marquez was asked about Ongaro’s chances in the Championship, and he had this to say: “She was competing, and she was at a super good level. We were competing with the 50cc street bikes, and in most of the races, I won the race, and she finished second. She was super-fast, and I wish to her very good luck.”

“SOMETIMES SHE KICKS MY BUTT”: Riders praise Ana Carrasco

Ana Carrasco is arguably the highest profile member of this new WorldWCR Championship. She most famously won the WorldSSP300 Championship in 2018, drawing widespread acclaim from the entirety of the motorsport world. Riders across both paddocks have been heaping praise on the Spaniard, too. Aprilia star Maverick Vinales discussed growing up with Carrasco, as well as her impact: “I have good memories with Ana. When I won the title (in 2013), Ana was a really good teammate. I remember Phillip Island, when she qualified fourth – it was very impressive. I also remember when she won the WorldSSP 300; that was a statement, because I think it was the beginning of where we’ve come to now.” Kawasaki Racing Team’s Alex Lowes also discussed Carrasco’s abilities, saying: “She’s really, really fast. We’ve done training together in Barcelona, and sometimes she kicks my butt on the flat-track and on the small bikes!”


Riders representing the other corners of the globe discussed having representation within the WorldWCR. OnlyFans American Racing Team star Joe Roberts and Bonovo Action BMW’s Garrett Gerloff discussed the impact of having Malory Dobbs in the Championship. Californian Roberts said: “I met Malory in COTA; she’s a super nice person! She raced in MotoAmerica Supersport. We need more Americans over here, so to have her here with the American flag is awesome.” Texas’ own Gerloff echoed those sentiments, saying: “I know she’s really motivated to get to the top. She’s got to wave that American flag high so, come on now!”

Like the Americans, South African brothers Brad and Darryn Binder talked having Nicole van Aswegen and Jessica Howden in the Championship. Talking about Nicole, Brad had this to say: “I’ve known Nicole for a long time. We started racing together on 50ccs in South Africa, and we pretty much stepped up the classes together. She’s really fast, and I’m sure she can do a really good job.” Darryn spoke about the impact of his country being represented, saying: “It’s really cool to have two women from South Africa in this new Championship, and I hope they can bring home some good results.”

Moto3 Colombian superstar David Alonso and current MotoGP™ Championship leader Jorge Martin spoke about Colombia’s Sarah Varon, and were full of praise for her. Alonso said: “It’s nice that a Colombian girl is in the Championship. She has the skills, and we will support her in all the races.” Likewise, Prima Pramac Racing’s Martin recollected growing up with Varon, saying: “Of course, great memories of that time; everyone was good friends and I remember spending a lot of time with Sara. I remember that race and she was super strong! She was always battling, and I think she finished in the top three of the Championship as well. Her level is quite good and I think this Championship will be super nice to watch.”

Make sure to watch history being made at Misano with the WorldSBK VideoPass!