Exclusive interview with RBA Moto3 rider Ana Carrasco, currently recovering from shoulder injuries at the Sachsenring...

Crash.net:
Hi Ana, I'm thinking you're at home in Murcia at the moment?

Ana Carrasco:
Yes that's right, I'm here because of my injury but I'm happy that things are getting better every day. I'm always in the gym and on a bike and I think I will be able to be at Silverstone. I'm 90% sure that I will be there.

At the moment the main thing I have to recover is my mobility and I am doing therapy for that.

For sure I will have a lot of pain at Silverstone because I really need more time. Normally for this injury you might need 10 weeks but I only have 6, but that's racing. I think it will be possible to race, not at 100% maybe but somewhere around 75%. I feel pretty bad now but when I get on the race bike I'll see how much worse it gets

At the moment I'm watching the races from home here and it is so different because I can't ride. It's very strange.

Crash.net:
And at the Indianapolis race would you have started on slicks?

Ana Carrasco:
It's easy to say now but yes I think I would. I remember that before that race I was saying to my father; 'Now is the time for slicks, now is the time for slicks' - but unfortunately I wasn't there!

Crash.net:
Is this the worst injury you've had?

Ana Carrasco:
Yes, I think this is the worst. Some years ago I had some breakages but this time the pain is worse and I have also lost a lot of mobility. Then I also had enough time to recover but now I don't have that luxury.

It never makes me question why I'm a racer though. It started right from the age of 3 when my father gave me a bike and that felt fantastic and it's in my blood. I am simply a professional rider.

Crash.net:
So what is your motivation?

Ana Carrasco:
That's simple, the joy is to win, to beat other riders. For sure it's a difficult year at the moment and that hasn't been possible but that motivation stays there and I have faith that I'll eventually find a way to be somewhere on top.

Crash.net:
So for you what is it, the racing or the winning?

Ana Carrasco:
Again that's simple, the winning and the success.

Crash.net:
And you've been racing and riding since the age of three?

Ana Carrasco:
Yes, I got my first bike at three and started racing at four. My father has always been there and in those days was my mechanic. He has been my mechanic all the way until the world championship.

All my life I've always loved bikes and racing but I never thought I could get to the world championships or do it professionally, I thought that maybe I would need to get another job. I just rode the bike because I liked it but now in the world championship things are more serious. Now there is the possibility of making a living at it.

If I have to say whether I'm a biker or a sports woman then I would say that it is the bikes that I like. I've got 3 bikes in the garage that I use for training or supermotard.

Crash.net:
Almost all riders in Spain either come from Catalonia but you come from Murcia...

Ana Carrasco:
It's true Murcia is very small and I think that maybe coming from here made it more difficult to go to the world championship. I was never tempted to move to Barcelona though, Murcia is my home.

I don't think that you need to move to Barcelona to succeed in motorbikes, you just need somewhere where you can train and practice and you can do that here, Barcelona or anywhere.

The fact that so many riders recently came from Spain is not only because of the Catalan system, it's also because up until recently the economy was going well and that is important. At the moment Spain is having difficulties so riders are having far more difficulty to find money for racing and you may see that in the future. I think that the large number of Spanish riders you currently see is connected with the fact that they could all find funding in the good years.

Crash.net:
Which Spanish rider or rider in general is a role model to you?

Ana Carrasco:
I have to say that my favourite is Valentino.

Crash.net:
So as a Spanish rider if I asked you who you would prefer to win the title this year, Valentino or Jorge what would you say?

Ana Carrasco:
This is difficult because Jorge is from Spain but I would like Valentino to win this year. Jorge has plenty of time left to win more.

Crash.net:
Do you make enough money at the moment to make a living?

Ana Carrasco:
No, no, I really don't have a lot of money. I only ride for free because the team pays for everything else but they don't pay me a wage.

Crash.net:
Doesn't being a woman make it easier to get sponsorship?

Ana Carrasco:
Really no, for me it is really difficult the same as anyone else. The first year I was always needing money and the second one I was almost not there because I needed a good sponsor. Last year I also wasn't able to race for the last 4 races for the same reason and again for next year I'm not sure what we will do.

It's difficult for men and women equally and with the current situation in Spain everybody is finding it extra difficult.

Crash.net:
So at the moment there are no firm plans for next year.

Ana Carrasco:
My aim is to be riding for the same team and my father and I are doing what we can, so we just need to keep working to see what we can do. I believe that the team also want to continue in this way.

Crash.net:
Does it make it difficult being a woman in a "man's world"?

Ana Carrasco:
Honestly I think that being a women makes it a little difficult.

I think that the paddock has more faith in male riders and possibly the teams don't have belief in a female rider and don't think that she can win. This can make it more difficult to get rides. I feel that you have to fight this all the time.

That's not to say that the paddock is unfriendly and I feel quite comfortable there because I have my team and mechanics and I also have a good relationship with the other riders. But in general I feel it's more difficult because of the team expectations.

Overall though I feel comfortable in the world of bikes and racing and am really looking forward to getting back to Silverstone.

At the moment there is only Maria [Herrera] and me and I don't see so many other female riders coming into the world championships.

I think there may be more starting out though because maybe 10 years ago a woman wasn't really taken seriously and couldn't get the opportunity to ride but at least now they are getting that opportunity. It was very rare for a father to give their daughter a bike.

Crash.net:
What is it that is holding you back at the moment?

Ana Carrasco:
Well it's a difficult year anyway because I have had four injuries in four months so that didn't help but the team is working well and I think we are working in a good direction.

But the most important thing is that we need some kind of official bike for next year as I'm using a 2014 bike at the moment and that is holding me back. Considering that I think we have been doing well recently in being close to the other bikes. I think we are something like 1 - 1.5 seconds behind which is good considering what I am riding.

I'm not only blaming the bike but the fact that I am riding the 2014 bike is important. There are so many factory bikes in Moto3 and we need one of those.

The most important difference is just the engine. This year's KTM has more power and also at more useful revs. The 2014 bike has all its power at the top of the rev range and the current bikes are using less revs, last year it was 14,000 and this year is 13,500 and that gives more power in the corner exit. With that handicap it means it's almost impossible to overtake.

I can't say that I'd be running at the front on a factory bike but next season, if I can get one and avoid getting all these injuries it will be interesting to see. I can't say I'll be at the top but it'll certainly be better than this year.

Crash.net:
If I offered you a KTM or Honda which would you choose?

Ana Carrasco:
OK, at the moment I think the Honda is maybe a little bit better but I know that KTM are working hard to get ahead so next year's bike will be good.

So if I'm offered the choice I'd still go for the KTM because I have been with them for two years and that continuity is important. The other thing of course is that I've never tried the Honda and I don't know if it would suit me better or worse so perhaps its better to stay with the devil you know.

The only thing I don't like about all the bikes is how difficult they are to start after a crash.

Crash.net:
People say there are more electronics in Moto3 than Moto2?

Ana Carrasco:
Put it this way, we certainly don't use a lot of electronics. Every year there is a little bit more but still not so much. It's mainly used in engine maps where you can have one for the rain or perhaps different ones for engine braking but you can only really control two or three things. I wouldn't say it is the main thing for a fast lap.

Crash.net:
Do you find Moto3 fun to ride in?

Ana Carrasco:
All the categories are competitive now but in Moto3 it's probably the hardest because of how similar the bikes are.

This means that there is a lot of fighting and battles between the riders, for me that is true racing and that's why I enjoy being there. The similarity of the bikes means that you can always fight no matter where you are, it's a really exciting.

It looks quite dangerous but now that I have become more experienced I'm not so nervous before the race anymore. For my first race it was terrible - I was so nervous - but now I'm calmer and can keep my mind on what I need to do.

Crash.net:
Thanks very much Ana and hope that you can get to Silverstone.

Ana Carrasco:
I hope so too.

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