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Gender gap decreasing in ASBK | Sport | WSBK

Motorcycle racing has become an all-inclusive sport with a great example of this on show at last weekend’s Bend International MotoFest.

Kiwi Avalon Biddle has just made history by winning the competitive New Zealand 600cc Supersport class. She first raced in Australia as a 14-year-old in 2007 before pursuing an international career and in 2015 became the winner of the inaugural FIM Women’s European Cup.

“It’s cool to see so many women competing in motorcycle racing now,” she said, as she prepared to make her ASBK debut in the Supersport class. “It’s my first time at The Bend and first time on the Yamaha and the top four riders in Supersport are really quick. It will be awesome for me to get a top-six finish.”

She ended up fifth in the final race.

Shelby Turner was racing in the MotoStars Australian Supermotard Champioship on the same three-times World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss usually rides in dirt-track events.

Turner has previously raced in the ASBK 300cc Supersport class, motocross and supermotard as well as being a sidecar passenger.

“It’s unreal to be offered the supermotard ride,” she said. “It’s going to be the first time I’ve raced under lights, but Troy told me to pack my fast boots and go for it.”

Tayla Relph, competing in the Supersport 300 championship on a Kawasaki, had a huge season last year.

She returned from injury to podium in the finale at Phillip Island, then was named Queensland motorcycle sportswoman of the year, judged across all disciplines of sport.

“Motorcycling Australia (the sport’s governing body) is doing a great job of promoting the role of females in our sport,” she said. “My advice to women wanting to compete is to believe in yourself and your ability as it can be a bit scary to race for the first time.”

Katarna Robinson is just 12 years old but racing a KTM 85 in the MotoStars series is giving her a path to the main game.

By HAMISH COOPER

Photo FRANK HODAK