The Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto hosted a very special presentation on Saturday as the FIM and Dorna Sports announced a new project: the FIM Women’s Motorcycling World Championship. The new competition is intended to widen access to the sport of motorcycle racing for women and create a platform of representation for female riders.
On launch in 2024, the initial series will primarily run alongside the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. The target for the first season is at least six rounds, with two races to take place per round. The grid will race on equal machinery, with a single motorcycle supplier to be announced in due course.
The new Championship aims to create opportunities for female riders who are already competing – providing an environment in which they can build a professional, viable career in motorcycle racing – and looks to lay the groundwork for more equal representation across all motorcycling paddocks of the future. Providing a positive example for prospective female competitors, the series will further underline that motorcycling is a sport for all to enjoy, on and off track.
Jorge Viegas, FIM President: "This is the first time ever, since 1904, that we are going to start next year with the FIM Women’s World Championship. I also hope you like the logo, it’s a surprise for all of you!
"We gave a lot of thought to this, and we had a lot of demand. As we do in Motocross, Enduro and Trial, we are starting with a women’s World Championship next year in circuit racing. Our plan is to have six races in Europe, and we are planning to do a single brand competition. We will try to have women from all over the world racing in this new Championship. It will be organised primarily within the frame of the WorldSBK Championship.
"It's a Championship where we want women to be pro. It's not a step to another category, we want women who race here to be able to earn a wage as a rider, as professionals. We hope to start in March or April next year."
Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director: "When I was informed about this project and its possibilities I took a lot of interest and had a lot of enthusiasm. Currently, we thought that the World Superbike platform could be one of the places to start this project, but it doesn't mean that it could only be in Superbike. It's within Dorna, so we will see how this develops.
"We don't have all the details yet, this is a live project, evolving all the time. It's important that we expand the opportunities available, and especially seeing a lot of Cups and projects that we've started, I think it's a big challenge but all of us must be proud of being able to offer this opportunity. At the end of the season I would like to see a good progression for the future ahead in order to have more riders and more possibilities in this sport.
"The best platform to start with is a single brand, and we've been discussing it informally with manufacturers already. We will start to define the details, but we expect something in a similar range to Supersport displacement. There has been a lot of interest but this is a project that is progressing, and can progress through the years to expand with different manufacturers, teams... we want to create a destination where female riders from around the world can join the Championship and find professional success. That means we can also explore new ways to promote the motorcycle industry. If we start from zero, we can be more creative. Like I said from my side, I will put in my full commitment to make it happen and to make it work at the standard that we want, and hopefully, we can be successful and enjoy it."
Françoise Emery, FIM CEO: "We created a commission for women in motorcycling for more than twenty years now so it is not really anything new in the FIM. We try to promote and support the women in motorcycle racing. What we try to do is offer female riders all opportunities and possibilities for them to ride, and as mentioned by the FIM President, we already have championships in Motocross, Enduro and Trial. So now we are pleased to launch a women’s championship in circuit racing."
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "We are used to making announcements in extraordinary Press Conferences, and today is an extraordinary one! After much reflection, we have taken a decision, along with the FIM, which is very important both for us and for the future of the motorcycling world.
FIM & Dorna Communications