Last week we found Ana Carrasco (16) will race Moto3 World Championship again in 2014, but this time not with the same Spain's Team Calvo, but with the Dutch RW Racing GP team's structure. That was definitely great news for a girl who has overcome the difficulty of being the only woman on the grid and has become one of the greatest potential riders for the future.
However, Ana will now have to face the experience of racing with in a foreign team after having taken her first steps into the World Championship with a team that has supported her like she was part of a family. At the same time, this apparent adversity would rather give her the ultimate boost on her learning curve. SuperbikePlanet.com talked to Ana last week.
Carrasco started riding motorcycles at age three. Shortly after she started racing for fun, she began to burn though the Spanish MiniGP classes (70, 80 and 125 cc), becoming a full time rider at the competitive Spanish Championship (CEV).
Ana raced 125's and Moto3 bikes for two seasons, just before making her appearance in 2013 Moto3 World Champioship.
How did it become possible to race with RW Racing GP team?
Well, since our introduction RW Racing GP team showed very sincere intentions and wanted me to race with them. It was easy because I know they have a long experience in the series and got great results with Spaniard Luis Salom in 2012.
Have you already met your new technical crew?
No, I did not meet then yet. I know I'll be riding a KTM powered Kalex bike. My first contact with the new team and the bike will take place in January, just after the training ban ends. I'm not sure yet, but it could be at Almeria racetrack in the southeast of Spain.
How's your English? Do you thing you could have any communication issues?
It's clearly going to be more difficult than with a Spanish team, but I think I have a pretty good English base. Of course I'll have to improve it on the technical side before the season starts, in order to offer them a fast and good communication.
On the psychological side, how will you face working everyday with a foreign team? Do you think that could even help you to grow up quicker as a rider?
I think I will grow up as a rider and as a person because racing with a foreign team while being so young gives me the chance of learning much faster, which could be very good for the future working on any team or if I have the chance to race in Moto2 class.
Would you like to race Moto2?
Of course I would! My ultimate goal is becoming a MotoGP rider, but first will I take the same steps that all riders racing now at the top class.
If last year was perhaps a learning one for you, what do you expect from 2014 season?
I look forward to keep learning as quickly as I did in 2013. Last season everything went much better in the end. Above all, I want to keep going ahead and never stepping back. However, the main thing should be getting on the bike for the first time and see how I can adapt myself during the preseason, then maybe think about what I can actually do in the season.
Tell us in your own words how 2013 season was for you. Do you think you accomplished the goals set at the start of the year?
Early in the season was a bit difficult because everything was very new. At the first race in Qatar I found myself in an unknown circuit racing in the night. I was also captured a considerable attention from the press and I guess it makes some extra the pressure on you. On Sunday I was in my first world championship grid position and my legs were shaking a little (she laughs). Then, in the first part of the season I tried to increase my chances of being fast quicker at tracks I wasnt familiar with, and I did even better later in the season. The goal in that first season was getting at least one point in the final standings, but at the end I had nine!
From Aragon onwards my evolution became even faster and I could make a big step forward that helped me a lot in the following rounds. Although they were difficult races, I managed to score a single point for the first time in Malaysia and I got the seventh position on the grid in Australia.
But in Japan you struggled a bit...
In Japan things were more difficult. It was a circuit that I did not know and after the storm I had to go out directly to the qualifying practice without a single lap of free practice and no references on settings either. They were too many things together and I could not do it all in time to qualify. I think the situation overtook me a little, that's where a rider's experience shows. I learned a lesson of never give up at any adversity.
That was the worst practice session of my life, but on Sunday I was fourteenth in the wram up session and finished eighteenth in the race after starting from the 35th grid spot. I did my best and even think that if I had started from a better position, I could have achieved some points again.
Which was for you the greatest race of the season?
Perhaps, the Malaysian round was the hardest one because of it special conditions. It was very warm and wet. Then it started to rain, then dried quickly. Choosing the right tire was a bit of a lottery. There I learned a lot about deciding how to choose a tire when you have to ride on mixed conditions. I was lost on Friday practice, but on Saturday it helped a lot to choose the right tire at the right moment. I got the 20th spot of the grid and got my first point on the standings!
Then, at the final round in Valencia maybe came the happiest moment in the season. My teammate Maverick Vinales became Moto3 World Champion and I finished eighth ahead of a wild group of hungry boys (Ana laughs again).