MotoGP stars including Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo have welcomed the news that two female riders will be competing in the Moto3 World Championship event at Aragon this weekend.

Full time Moto3 competitor Ana Carrasco, 16, will be joined by 17-year-old fellow Spaniard Maria Herrera, who is racing as a wild-card.

It will be the first time that two female riders have taken part in a grand prix since 1994, when Daniela Tognoli and Tomoko Igata started the 125cc Spanish race.

Rookie Carrasco, who rides alongside title contender Maverick Vinales at Calvo KTM, has a best finish of 17th so far this year. Herrera, who will ride for the Estrella Galicia KTM team, currently lies third in the Spanish Championship and clinched her second victory of the season last weekend.

"It is good news," said MotoGP title leader Marquez. "I was in my home last Sunday watching the Spanish Championship race and when I saw Maria win... Already she had won a race, but you never know if it was just one time. But then she won again [last weekend] at Navarra.

"It will be important for motorcycles and MotoGP because it looks like a men's world, but a girl can be fast."

"I think it is a really good thing for the sport to have two girls," added reigning double MotoGP champion Lorenzo. "It is not normal and maybe next year it can happen [full time]. Ana's team told me she is really brave and also in the Spanish Championship [last year] she did a really good season. Now in the world championship it is more difficult so she needs a little bit more time.

"And Maria - everybody says she is really strong. Winning races in the Spanish Championship is very difficult. So both have a really promising career ahead of them."

Seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi thinks the added competition between Carrasco and Herrera will spur them both on - as well as their male rivals.

"I think it is good for our sport, because it is mainly a men's sport, but also in the past, four or five girls were very, very fast," said the Italian. "It is especially interesting to understand and follow Maria after she won two races in the Spanish Championship, where the level is good.

"And for sure it is also a great motivation for Ana to try to arrive in front of Maria this weekend! But it will be hard for the girls, because all the boys don't want to arrive behind them so they will have extra motivation also! But they are both fast so they can do a good weekend."

Indeed, Aleix Espargaro feels points are not out of the question for either rider on Sunday.

"It is good because it is not just two girls racing, but because they are fast," said the Aspar CRT star. "Maria has won races in the Spanish Championship this year and Ana has finished just five or six seconds from the points in recent grand prix races. They will both be really motivated to beat the other and so we will see if they can arrive in the points on Sunday."

LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl added: "I'm happy to see girls racing motorcycles. The only girl racer I remember was a German in 250GP, Katja Poensgen [2001, 2003], who scored points - maybe this is the only thing where Germany is better than Spain in racing at this moment!"

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