She decided to give up on her dream at the early age of twenty-five. Sharni Pinfold’s is a story that should make the racing world reflect. She chose to hang up her helmet due to an environment that disdains women and in which male chauvinism reign.
But let’s go in order, just to recap.
After the death of her father, the Australian rider decided to leave her country and participate in the English Moto3 Championship, thanks to the support of a sponsor and money she saved up over time. That experience was a springboard for taking part in three rounds of the Women’s European Cup at Imola and Misano, where Pinfold touched the top ten on tracks unknown to her.
She then made her debut in the SSP300 on the Smrz team at Magny-Cours. An unlucky weekend for Sharni, who ended up falling in the last chance race, fracturing her collarbone.
That was the last we saw of the Australian rider on a bike, since she then announced her farewell to the world of racing on social media… and she did so pointing a finger at a world considered male-dominated, where women are disdained:
“Most of the challenges I have faced, have been sourced from the lack of respect and derogatory treatment of women. Things that I know that I would have never had to experience or be exposed to if I was a male. There comes a point where enough is enough, and I feel like I have reached that point. I feel that I no longer want to continue to be exposed to this behaviour or to be treated this way. This deeply saddens me. It deeply saddens me to look at the challenges of my own journey, and to acknowledge the fact that women dedicating their lives to pursuing their dreams are being exposed to this and are being treated this way. This has been the main contributing factor of my decision to step away.”
But Sharni’s love for racing will not end here:
“My love for the sport continues and I am not sure what the future holds for me. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved in this sport, and I feel it’s a shame I haven’t been able to realise my full potential yet. I want to say thank you to everybody that has supported me, provided me with opportunities and the friends I’ve met along the way. I hope that from my journey I am able to help and encourage others to know that they are worthy of everything they desire. My wish for others is to know that no-one has the right to make you feel unworthy or uncomfortable, or that you must dismiss anything that doesn’t sit right with you.”