Much history was made this weekend, at the WorldSBK round in Magny-Cours, France. On Saturday, Jonathan Rea became the first World Superbike rider to win four championship titles in a row, further solidifying his amazing career in production superbike racing.
And on Sunday, Ana Carrasco became the first female world champion in all of motorcycle racing, clinching the World Supersport 300 title in the final round of the season. Carrasco won the championship by the narrowest of margins, a single point, just ahead of Mika Perez, who lost the lead of the race with two corners left to go on the final lap.
For her tally, the 21-year-old from Murcia, Spain had two race wins (Imola & Donington Park) and six finishes in the Top 10 for the 2018 season. Leading after the third round of the season, Carrasco managed a championship of attrition on her DS Junior Team Kawasaki Ninja 400, with consistency being the key to victory in the World Supersport 300 class.
She lead the series by 10 points, over Scott Deroue, going into the final round of the season, which meant that her 13th place finish at Magny-Cours was adequate to secure her championship victory.
Meanwhile, Perez’s second-place finish was enough to propel him into second in the championship, due in-part to Deroue’s retirement – because of a broke gear lever – in the final race, which saw the Dutchman demoted to third in the final standings.
In her post-race interview, Carrasco dedicated her championship win to the late Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who was a friend of Carrasco’s and the cousin of David Salom, her team manager.
“It is unbelievable to win the championship and we worked so hard to be here. I did not know I had won on the slowdown lap,” said Ana Carrasco, after the Magny-Cours race. “I tried to see some TVs to check, but I did not see any. I only realised when I got to turn five, and I asked the spectators if I was first.”
“I can only say thank you to a David Salom and all the Kawasaki DS Junior Team, it is for all of them. I also want to say thank you to my family who have done so much for me.”
“I want to dedicate this title to Luis Salom. The day we lost him, I promised to dedicate my first title to him. At the moment, I am happy because we have achieved our goals, but I do not realize all of the things about being the first woman in history. I think after a few days I will be more conscious of this.”