The boys have been rumbled! More and more girls are discovering that female work opportunities in the World Superbike paddock aren't limited to being grid girls, and are now holding their own alongside the guys in more mentally challenging roles.

One young lady who finds herself in the thick of the World Superbike weekend action is Heta Lauslehto, who works for the Klaffi Honda Superbike team.

Heta's job is looking after the tyres for riders Frankie Chili and Max Neukirchner, her job title is thus 'Tyre Girl' - or 'Rubber Girl' if the team are feeling cheeky. If her surname sounds familiar it's because Tatu Lauslehto, Heta's brother, races in World Supersport.

"My brother races for Klaffi Honda in the Supersport 600 and that is how I got this job," said Heta. "I ask the team boss if he has something for me to do and he said 'maybe'..."

The pretty Finn didn't have much prior experience with tyre technology, but the team showed her what to do and she was a quick leaner. "I know how the racing world works," she said. "They showed me once what to do and that was it."

Miss Lauslehto can now often be seen in the paddock with a trolley full of tyres as she goes about her race weekend routine - which notably doesn't involve looking after her brother's tyres.

"It's only for Frankie Chili and Max Neukirchner, I don't have time for my brother - and maybe it's better for both of us that I don't do it!" she admitted. "That might add to the stress levels especially when busy. I am very busy between the practices and, yes, there is stress if there is rain or rain showers especially. But when it is nice weather and nothing is going wrong then it's not stressful."

So what does a typical day involve?

"We have breakfast at 8am, then check the tyres are ready for the first practice, and then wait until practice is finished," Heta replied. "We then take the tyres to Pirelli and wait again until they have changed the tyres, then bring them back and check them - pressures, balancing and that the tyres are properly on the rim. Then we put them on a rack and - one hour before the practice - start heating them, and after the second practice we do the same."

It isn't Heta's responsibility to record how the tyres behave, or which tyres were used, since that is the task of the mechanics. Meanwhile, since starting her job, Heta has generally received a positive welcome from the rest of the male dominated WSBK paddock.

"I hear from people that others talk about me, but I think they only talk positively," said Lauslehto. "I've also heard about one other girl working in the paddock, who does data recording, but I don't know any other girls that do my job."

The other girl Heta referred to is Dania Ropa (lower pic) - a Data and Electronics Engineer for PSG-1 Kawasaki on Maurio Sanchini's side of the team. Dania is responsible for checking the data that is recorded on the race bike during each session, and feeding back on what areas need improvement.

She has been working as a Data Engineer for five-years, starting her career with Peugeot cars, this is where she learned how to use the logging system.

However, Dania's love of bikes got the better of her and she moved to Ducati. She spent one season with a Ducati Supersport team, then two seasons with a Ducati Superbike team and now has moved to Kawasaki.

Heta's own previous job was working in her father's motorcycle shop, which she combined with racing of her own: "I used to work for my father, he owns a motorcycle shop in Finland and before that I raced six-years, so racing - and motorcycles especially - have been around me all my life.

"I raced 125cc, I was first in Finland and Scandinavia and in European Championships. Our father raced and now my brother is racing, and before my brother and I were born my mother was also a passenger for my Dad when he raced sidecar," she added.

And does she enjoy the work? "Yes, Klaffi is excellent to work for and it is like one big happy family. I really like being a part of it - I like the spirit here and everything."

Heta isn't looking too far ahead, but will stay with World Superbikes for this year, but what of next season? "I really don't know yet. That I will see..."

Let's hope Heta stays in World Superbikes and that there will be a few more ladies joining her...