Local motorcycle racer will race on big stage

Henry

Nicole van Aswegen, a South African motorcycle rider, is heading to Europe for the inaugural FIM Women’s Motorcycle World Championship.

It will be the first time in 2024 that women participants will also race on their superbikes over six rounds at certain European tracks.

More than 40 contestants applied to take part in the championship and in the end only 24 were selected to be in action at the first version of the series.

The Pirelli Emilia Romagna round is from 14 to 16 June, with the first official time trial already starting on 17 May.

Van Aswegen first won the South African 600cc women’s championship in 2010 and then made history by becoming the first woman to stand on the podium of the national SuperSport race.

This adrenaline junkie says the upcoming high-octane action on the international stage will definitely be the pinnacle of her career and a dream come true – the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.

She is excited about the opportunity to test herself against the best and to represent Africa.

“It takes hours of practice on the track to test yourself and your bike to the limit. I sometimes train twice a day where I do a lot of fitness and strength training,” she said.

Van Aswegen says the biggest challenge, however, is to prepare mentally.

“The women I will be competing against are much younger and professional riders. In contrast, I am a mother with a full-time job.

“It takes a lot of strength and courage. However, I am truly blessed to have wonderful people with me on this journey.”

The South African says that she “lives, eats, sleeps and dreams” motorcycle racing and that this bug bit her as a teenager. At the same time, she is also passionate about growing the sport.

“South Africa is relatively far behind most developed countries with the number of female participants decreasing over the years. There is a lot of work to do to get things back on track.”

By getting an opportunity to showcase her talent and perseverance on the world stage, Van Aswegen also aims to inspire not only her daughter, but also other young girls right across South Africa.

“It’s really a proud moment and a great opportunity to fly the South African flag. I want to show my daughter and all the young girls in our beautiful country that anything is possible – they should not let doubts and fears hold them back.”

Adrian Scholtz, CEO of Motorsport South Africa, says Van Aswegen’s testimony is remarkable.

“We are so proud of how well she has done and also what she has done to encourage more women in the sport,” says Scholtz.

With her sights set on glory in 2024, Van Aswegen is ready to represent South Africa with pride and determination.

“I wear my heart on my sleeve and I go there to show what South Africans are made of. It took blood, sweat and tears, but I’m still standing and I’m ready to make my country proud,” she concludes.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nicole van Aswegen (@nicole.vanaswegen)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nicole van Aswegen (@nicole.vanaswegen)