Not since 2003 has a woman competed in World Championship motorcycle racing. That year, Katja Poensgen (Dutch Molenaar Team) of Germany competed in the now-defunct 250cc Championship; she also raced in the same series in 2001.
But this week, another woman will join the ranks of becoming a female motorcycle racer in the World Championship – Elena Rosell. The 25-year-old Spaniard will substitute for the injured Julian Simon on the Mapfre Aspar Suter Moto2 machine this weekend in Assen for the Dutch GP.
Rosell now joins Poensgen, Nikoletta Kovacs (Hungary) and Marketa Janakova (Czech Republic), all of whom have competed at a World Championship level.
Rosell will be the first woman to ever race in the Moto2, which is in its sophomore year. Currently Rosell is the leading female motorcycle racer in Spain, and competes in the Spanish CEV Buckler Championship in the Stock Extreme Class; the Kawasaki rider is in fourth after two races.
Elena Rosell says: “I still can’t believe the opportunity I have this weekend. The possibility of me joining up with the MAPFRE Aspar Team for a race was first discussed last week and it has been a nerve-wracking few days for me.
“It is an opportunity I have been hoping for ever since I began racing and I have to thank the MAPFRE Aspar Team for the faith they have shown in me. I am going to make my Moto2 debut with one of the best teams and words can’t describe how that makes me feel. I can’t wait to get to Holland so that I can start to believe it.
“I have a huge challenge ahead of me this weekend. A new category, new bike and new circuit. The good thing is that I am taking it on as part of a very professional team with a lot of experience at this level. My objective is to enjoy my first race in the World Championship and try to learn as much as possible. All of the bikes are quite similar and I think if I can adapt well to the machine and enjoy my riding then we are capable of a good result.”
Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar” says: “We are really pleased that Elena is going to compete in the Moto2 World Championship as part of the MAPFRE Aspar Team. It is doubly satisfying for me because Elena came through the Cuna de Campeones BANKIA.
“I have followed her career ever since she was very small and she has surprised me a lot. She has great capacity to improve and I think the experience of racing in the Moto2 World Championship will benefit her development. I wish her the best and I hope she can adapt quickly to the new category and enjoy the experience.”
As for Julian Simon, he continues to recover from his nasty accident at Catalunya Moto2. During the Moto2 crash, Simon broke his tibia and fibula.
Mapfre Aspar Moto2 Team has not confirmed if Rosell will substitute at any other races.