Ana Carrasco will not be the only female rider this weekend at Jerez, with Maria Herrera confirmed as making her second Moto3 wild-card appearance.
The Repsol sponsored rider will be a wild-card team-mate to Alex Rins and Alex Marquez at the Estrella Galicia team, the same outfit she rides a Honda for in the Spanish Moto3 championship.
Herrera continues to impress in the CEV Moto3 competition – she is currently joint top of the standings alongside French rider Fabio Quartararo, the 2013 champion.
Her first two rides of the season have seen her taken a second and first place, with both races run so far having been at the Jerez track.
Last year on a KTM she finished the season fourth, with two wins to her name and became the first female to win in any class of the Spanish Championship.
This earned her a wild-card entry for the Aragon round. Unfortunately Herrera was the first to crash, not making it past lap one, though she did rejoin to be 29th in front of a home crowd.
The teenager is confident she has done enough work pre-season to not let her nerves get the better of her this time:
“I am approaching this wild-card appearance with more calm than when I rode at Aragon in 2013. I'm not saying that I won't be a little nervous, but this year I have already ridden with World Championship riders at Almeria in pre-season and I adapt better after that, rather than when I was sharing a track with Rins, Marquez and others having only seen them on the television”.
Herrera is also looking to use the fact she has already raced at Jerez twice this year, and won there to her advantage:
“I've already competed at Jerez in the FIM CEV Repsol this year and this is a positive, but I still am not completely familiar with the new bike. Jerez is my favourite track; it has corners which I like a lot, so I'll make the most of this”.
The Spaniard is not only sponsored by Repsol, but is also backed by sometime training partner Alvaro Bautista. It was the Gresini rider who recommended her to Emilio Alzamora for her ride in her home championship.
Previous Alzamora proteges include both of her team-mates for this weekend, Alex Marquez and Alex Rins and current MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez.