“BATTLE FOR A TITLE” SAYS MUKHLADA, FIRST FEMALE RIDER WHO BEAT 24 MALE RIVALS IN ARRC HISTORY

In 2017, a 20-year old woman made it to worldwide history when she became the first female motorcyclist to win a world championship in Portimao, Portugal. Her name is Ana Carrasco. 

In 2017, a 20-year old woman made it to the worldwide history when she became the first female motorcyclist to win a world championship in Portimao, Portugal. Her name is Ana Carrasco.

Meanwhile, within the Asian region, Muklada Sarapuech reigned as the first female rider to win a title in the history of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, ARRC when she took the win in the Asia Dream Cup, 2015. After her win, she was then offered the opportunity to take a step into the international domain, making her debut in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship in Jerez and Valencia.

Muklada is also the first Thai woman to win a race at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram. The Bangkok born lass, raced under the number 44 represented A.P Honda Racing Thailand back then made an impactful finish at 19’11:671s, beating 24 male rivals in the making of a historical move.

It was just the beginning of women taking home, trophies and titles where the goals were to gracefully turn over the stereotypes of societal norms.

In recent years, an increasing number of women were motivated further to embark on a mission in the motorsports scene – some for personal reasons and the others, professionally. However, it comes with a cost – one that included hardship, challenges and criticism. Since motorsports have historically been a hetero-masculine sport, women paid the price to revolutionise thoughts and perceptions in the domain.

What was it like for Muklada in her endeavours to challenge the male-dominated sport? It was not an easy attempt for the 29-year-old woman.

“When it comes to motorsports, especially two-wheels, it has been traditionally perceived as a masculine sport. First things first, many would make physical comparisons between a male and a female. They tend to compare the body size, strength and endurance level. People’s perspectives and assumptions alone is good enough to defeat a woman’s actual abilities. That is good enough to hinder women from entering the motorsport scene.”

“If you ask me though, it is pretty much a myth to me. Biologically, we could be different however a woman is capable to compete and excel just like men. Men and women are built with a mental ability to achieve the same things. That’s probably the most important element when it comes to racing. To plan and execute at the right time,” said Muklada.

Muklada was 11 years old when she begun her journey on a two-wheeler with a Nano Bike. Little did the child in Muklada realise that 4 years down the road, she would be competing in the FMSCT Thailand Championship in Honda Click 125cc class. Her excellence in the first round, grabbed the attention and the rest is history.

“The other challenge for women was the lack of knowledge with minimal number of females participating in motorsports – persuasion was tough when it comes to parents. But as time goes by, and as the reputation of motorsports increased tremendously in Thailand, they started viewing motorsports from a different light. Thereafter, my family have been there for me throughout my riding journey till this very day. I am grateful for having them.”

“Every challenge that I have faced in my career thus far, I don’t see them as a limitation. I would say that they are the stepping stone towards my victory. All these have pushed me further and I have never given up, not even for once. Sort of a motivation for me to keep moving forward. That is my strength I would say.”

“Now I am back in the AP250 race category. I have enough experience to take up the challenge but this time is not only to win some races but to bring home the title.”

“Definitely won’t be an easy task though. I have been exercising regularly and consulting a trainer, preparing myself physically. Most importantly, I have to keep studying the circuit tricks and tips through the championship videos. I have been devoted to all of my races. Every race is a new beginning. Especially the season opener. It would be truly a meaningful one to win and also fuel me further for the next rounds. I hope to do my best and collect as much points as I can.”

Women for some years now have been carving successful careers in multiple walks of the two-wheels and four-wheels racing world!

While the proportion of women to men is still far from balanced, things have been changing. 

To every women out there, what else you girls waiting for?