Ana Carrasco made history last year by becoming the first female to win a solo motorcycle world championship as she clinched the World Supersport 300 title by just a single point ahead of Mika Perez.

The Spaniard made worldwide headlines for her title triumph and has secured fresh backing from reigning World Superbike champions Provec, who run the factory Kawasaki squad, as she bids to defend her crown in 2019.

After all the drama of last year’s final race, how did you feel at the end of that race in Magny-Cours?

Ana Carrasco:

I’ve got to say that the whole race was very difficult because we had some problems and had to start from 25th, it was difficult at the beginning but it all came out well in the end because I won the championship.

Perhaps starting so low and with so many problems it took your mind off the championship and reduced the pressure?

Ana Carrasco:

Honestly, during the race I didn’t feel a lot of pressure because we knew that the championship was so difficult from then.

It was worse previously during the weekend because we knew it was possible and we were having so many problems. It was during the weekend when we could think that the pressure was higher, I so much wanted to be on top in qualifying and the problems made that impossible.

The race itself was fine. I just took it pass by pass without thinking too much of the championship. I was mainly concerned with the changes we had made to the bike because of the issues we’d had and I wasn’t quite sure if the bike was working well or not, I was just waiting for a possible explosion!

Did you know if you’d won the championship at the end?

Ana Carrasco:

When I crossed the finishing line I had no idea. My team were telling me on the board that I’d finished P10 but I knew I’d finished 13th so I was waiting very nervously.

Did you send Scott Deroue a Christmas card? [Deroue held a title-clinching position over the opening laps before retiring from the race]

Ana Carrasco:

[Laughing] No, no, but we are still good friends because I know him well from being team mates in the past.

Do you think that the Kawasaki is the bike to be on?

Ana Carrasco:

I think the Kawasaki this year was the best for sure but that was mainly at the beginning of the season because they changed the rules and after that we struggled quite a lot because the bike started to have problems. The last four races were difficult for us after the rule changes and you can see that in the results. Despite all that I think the Kawasaki was still the best overall package, it was just that we couldn’t use all of it.


Ana Carrasco:

We had to use less rpm than at the beginning and also add weight and these changes were difficult to manage. The bike had been well set up to race as standard so learning to race with the changes was challenging.

The weight in particular was giving us problems with the weight transfer and it made it more difficult to find a set up. We basically had to use 2000 less rpm and add 14kg.

But this was the same for the whole field, right?

Ana Carrasco:

Sure, but it affected some riders more than others, some like me who had found really good settings were disrupted more than others. The affect also depended on the weight of the rider and I don’t weigh so much.

Follow Page 2 for the full interview with Ana Carrasco...

Are you enjoying the WorldSBK paddock more than the MotoGP one?

Ana Carrasco:

Honestly I like it more, I find it friendlier and feel more comfortable there. Also I feel that in WorldSBK they are looking for results more and that is good for the riders.

What do you mean by ‘looking for results’?

Ana Carrasco:

I mean that the teams are only focused on the race and racing rather than being so concerned with the media, publicity and the stuff around racing. In MotoGP there is so much distracting media work to do.

The other thing about WorldSBK is that it’s not so crucial to be in a factory team. Here if you are in a well-run professional team you can always fight for the podium. That’s really motivating.

Tell me about your arrangement with Provec for 2019 in World Supersport 300.

Ana Carrasco:

Well at the beginning the arrangement is to continue in 300’s and then we’ll see but I have to say that with a team like them it will be possible for me to fight for the title again.

The bike won’t be very different because it is just a standard Kawasaki but we are still finalizing who will be the team in my box – that is all being sorted by them. That’s the great thing about being in a team like that, they are able to take so much of that responsibility from me allowing me to concentrate on the riding.

Are you finding getting sponsorship easier as a world champion?

Ana Carrasco:

Well now I can say that this isn’t my job any more, I can leave that to the team.

Now that things have got more serious, you’re moving to Barcelona, right?

Ana Carrasco:

Yes, the reason is to be closer to the team so that I can be in instant contact. Also I want to be able to take part in their winter training programme. I train at home a lot but in Barcelona I’ll be able to train with other riders to improve motivation.

In Barcelona they have so many circuits and flat tracks whereas in Mucia there is only one and the competition from other riders will also be really important. It’s the team who will put together a training programme for me.

Overall I feel really excited about this new direction, to work with such a professional team.

And how does this new commitment to racing go with your law studies? [Carrasco completed the second year of her part-time law degree in 2018]

Ana Carrasco:

Luckily the university is okay with making some changes to my course to take the riding into account.

How do you see your future in terms of other bike classes?

Ana Carrasco:

I do want to move forward to different classes but I want to do it in the correct way and at the correct time but at the moment I just want to concentrate on this class. Next year we will see but at the moment the future is here.

Do you think your size will make it difficult to ride a full superbike?

Ana Carrasco:

I don’t know about that, I feel sure that I would be able to ride a superbike I would just need to work on the training and get stronger. I feel sure I could do it.

Have you ever tried riding a bigger bike?

Ana Carrasco:

Yes I have, I tried a 600cc and it felt really good, it wasn’t too big but more importantly I was fast. But let’s see how next year goes first and then we can look to the future. One step at a time.

Thanks Ana!

Ana Carrasco:

Sure thing, thanks.