Mangaluru, Feb 27, 2018: Young men going full throttle to make audiences gasp in awe is passé. On Feb 25, Sunday, Mangalureans were treated to a delightful view, where women on motorcycles took centre-stage and battled it out for top honours, unmindful of the uneven tracks and the risks they threw, at the Auto Cross-2018 near Airport Road.
“It is really a positive sign that women are considered capable of participating in motorcycle racing. Now that we have started, I think it is a matter of time that women become at par with men in motorcycling,” said Ritu Kaur, 30, from Gujarat, who is one of the most capped women riders in the country.
It is not long ago that she began her career as a motorcycle racer. “I began riding 12 years ago. However, I got into racing just a year ago. Since then, I have been travelling across the country,” Ritu, who has won 20 Motocross events in addition to several other events, said.
Interestingly, Team 10 Racing from Mangaluru has been nurturing Ritu. “There is less support for women racers in Gujarat. I have reached this level mainly because of Team 10 Racing, in addition to support from my family,” said Ritu, who owns a 500 cc Royal Enfield Bullet, Hero Impulse, TVS Apache 160 and Pulsar NS 200.
While this is the story of a national-level rider, women from the city too weren’t far behind. Chaithra D Suvarna, 23, from Baikampady, said it is due to her craze and love of motorcycling that she ventured into the sport. “There are high chances that you may suffer serious injuries, dislocate your bones and face a host of such issues if you take up Motocross racing. For most parents, it is a matter of concern, as a lot is expected from a woman. However, a little support can really help open up avenues for women in this sector,” Chaithra said.
Namrasha N Ganiga, a 21-year-old KAS aspirant from the city, was also one of the 10 women that participated in the Ladies Class of the event. Though the price money is fixed at Rs 5,000, Rs 4,000 and Rs 3,000 for the women winners, the participants say it is the love of motorcycles and not money that makes them race.