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SBK, WorldWCR: Misano opens the hunt for the first Women's World Cup Queen

The first historic confrontation between the protagonists of the new all-female championship will be staged this weekend in Romagna. Carrasco and Herrera the favorites, but watch out for Ponziani, Sanchez and Beatriz Neila

SBK: WorldWCR: Misano opens the hunt for the first Women's World Cup Queen

The story of the Women's Circuit Racing World Championship (WorldWCR), the new Women's World Motorcycle Racing Championship launched by Dorna and FIM for this 2024,begins in Misano , with the aim of encouraging the development of the women's motorcycling movement, promoting values such as diversity and inclusiveness, and offering female motorcyclists an opportunity to compete on equal terms on the World stage.

Putting the first test of the series, held last May in Cremona, on file, it will be the Adriatic Riviera circuit that will hold this weekend ( weekend schedule here) the first of the events on the championship calendar, which will conclude in Jerez, passing through Donington, Portimao, Cremona and Estoril. Six rounds with a double race, included in this debut season in the context of the Superbike WC, in which 25 fierce female riders from 18 different nations will compete, riding the Yamaha YZF-R7, the only bike in the series with Pirelli single rubber.

Carrasco and Herrera spearhead the Iberian attack.

With no less than six riders at the starting lineup, Spain is not only the best represented nation in the inaugural edition of the WorldWCR, but also the one with the highest title ambitions, fielding some of the big favorites for the final laurel. Among them is Ana Carrasco, in action in the colors of the Evan Bros. team.

Rediscovering two seasons in Moto3 under the BOÉ Motorsports team banner, the 2018 SSP300 World Champion has already shown a quick adaptation to the R7, thanks to which she has established herself as the undisputed Queen of the two-day test in Cremona and will arrive in Misano with all the favors of the odds. Beware, however, of underestimating compatriot Maria Herrera, another well-known face on the international motorcycle scene. Engaged for six seasons in MotoE and with a history in Moto3, and in the SSP300 and SSP World Championships, the current Klint Forward Factory Team rider is one of the most experienced motorcyclists at the start, as well as the main suspect for the Murcian's No. 1 rival role. Unlike Ana, however, Maria will arrive at the first race weekend having ground very few kilometers on the R7, having not taken part in the official test at the Lombard circuit.

Roberta Ponziani throws down the gauntlet to the Spaniards.

Another candidate for a leading role can only be Roberta Ponziani, Ana Carrasco's first chaser in the Cremona two-day event, which ended about seven tenths from the 1'41"4 benchmark set by the 27-year-old. The only Italian present on a permanent basis in the Yamaha single-brand, where she will compete under the banner of the MotoXracing WCR Team, the reigning CIV Women's Champion promises to give battle to the Spanish troop, holding high the tricolor already starting from the home Round, where she will be joined by her colleague Beatrice Barbera, engaged in a wild card.

Also playing for a place on the podium along with Roberta will undoubtedly be the Iberians Sara Sanchez and Beatriz Neila Santos, respectively competing with the 511 Racing Team and the Pata Prometeon Yamaha team, the official formation of the Iwata-based manufacturer. Two fearsome rivals with respectable resumes, considering that the Catalan Sanchez challenged riders such as Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Martin in the Spanish propaedeutic series, and then became vice-champion of the Women's European Cup in 2021-22, and closed 2023 in ninth place in the CIV Supersport 300, where she was teammate precisely of the Madrid-born Beatriz Neila, four-time European Champion.

Possible surprises in the championship.

Said of those who are expected to be the main protagonists of the championship, we must not forget some possible outsiders such as South African Jessica Howden, flag-bearer of Team Trasimeno; Adela Ourednickova (DafitMotoracing) and Lucy Michel (TSL-Racing), who both boast pasts in the IDM Supersport 300; or Emily Bondi, winner on her debut in the French Women's 2023 championship and in action with the YART Zelos Black Knights Team.

Possible surprises include Australian Tayla Relph (TAYCO Motorsport) and the two Sekhmet Motorcycle Racing Team riders, Mallory Dobbs and Alyssia Whitmore; as well as theIsraeli Ran Yochay, Sara Sanchez's boxmate and a familiar face in the European Women's Championship, and Hispanics Astrid Madrigal (ITALIKA Racing FIMLA) and Isis Carreno (AD78 FIM Latinoamerica by Team GP3), both fresh from their debut in the SSP300 World Championship.

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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