Christina bulpett |
Katie Hand became the first woman to win the Thundersport GB GP3 Superteens Trophy in 2021 after just three years of competition.
Successfully entering the race in 2019, the 16-year-old won the Darley Moor Junior Championship in her first track season before ending her first year at Thundersport GB fifth overall despite the disruptive pandemic. Returning for 2021, the Lincolnshire rider first claimed the championship by winning the inaugural race of the year before claiming the title with seven wins and nine more podiums from the 26 races – despite an absence of almost one month. recover from Covid-19.
“To be called the Superteen champion in the first place is an honor for me, so being the first woman [winner] is really amazing in all honesty, ”Hand admitted to Bikesportnews.com of his recent success.
“However, I believe a lot in the fact that a runner is a runner, regardless of gender. We all have the same level of ability and can do anything if we really want to. someone reminds me of my accomplishments that I sit down and really think about it, ”she humbly admitted.
“This season has been really important for me because it’s the first full season I’ve had at a higher level,” explained the teenager, having chosen to compete in both the Superteens and the Hel British Junior Supersport Championship for 2021. The latter saw Hand record a better 16th place and this is where she will return for the coming year.
“My first season was in 2019 where I did the full season at Darley and managed to win the championship, so my first year of road racing was a pretty incredible achievement! But this year we had decided to compete in a full Thundersport Championship with the hope of finishing in the top 5 and getting into BSB.
“My first run was at Snetterton and it started off well, winning my first win in terrible conditions, but I was in heaven as it was only my second podium at Thundersport and it was a win. That obviously set the bar pretty high for me throughout the season and then we kept racing at Cadwell which was a disaster. I crashed three times in the same weekend which turned out to be a hell of a bump in my confidence that I didn’t realize. For the following laps, I landed a few podiums, stayed on the bike and continued to learn a lot.
“At that time, I also participated in my very first BSB [Hel Junior Supersport] at Thruxton where I was thrown into the deep end. It was a whole new circuit for me and the weather was terrible with bike issues. This weekend I had learned a lot about the speed of the BSB riders and what I was going to have to face.
“Then I had another up and down weekend in Anglesey where I did my best but unfortunately had 2 more crashes including one that destroyed my bike. This is the stage where I stuck well because I had a chance to win the title at home. My last BSB round was at Donington GP where the weather was terrible but I managed to come away with my best result from 16th place with which I was in heaven.
“The final round of Thundersport at Cadwell Park didn’t go as planned on day one because I didn’t use my full potential and let the team down. However, I was happy to wake up in the rain on Sunday morning and came back after the warm-up more confident than ever. Before this race the leader had a three second gap on me, which I was up for in the championship for, but I managed to narrow it down and win the race. It was the best feeling in the world, walking into the waiting area with everyone jumping in pure joy and it was the greatest relief that all the hard work paid off over the year. .
Growing up around bikes, Katie caught the racing bug from her father, Manx TT rider Michael, before being ‘thrown’ on her first run on the beach to test her skills. “I can thank my dad for putting me in the race because that’s all he ever knew, so I grew up with it,” she admitted.
“When I was younger I had a Yamaha PW50 but I never rode it because I didn’t really have an interest in racing, but I loved going with my dad everywhere when he was running, especially going on the Isle of Man. We went to a trials event near my home and it was from then that I really wanted to try cycling again. a Honda CRF100 in the garage, so every Sunday we would go out into the fields and just go up, until I got thrown in my first run on the beach where I was out of my bike capacity but I got absolutely loved it, it was from there that i got my first real motocross bike, a Husky 85.
“Running is my life and that’s all I want to do,” she continued. “My dream would be to race as a career and help other people get started in racing. I would also love to race TT and experience it all because it really looks amazing and the adrenaline levels must be insane.
Although the path for young British riders is not easy, Hand is confident in her abilities and despises the gender roles often at play.
“Me, being on this grid is no different from anyone else on the grid. Whether you are male or female, you both have equal opportunities and abilities. I mostly meet people who are surprised that women race motorcycles, but that’s just because it’s not very common. They don’t say you can’t do it, because everyone I meet has been very supportive of me.
“The biggest key to being successful in this sport is to believe in yourself and not to be afraid. If you want to do it, just get on with it or too much time will pass and it will be almost too late. It is never too late to start the race, but it is better to start early. Running is the best thing that has happened to me because you can meet so many new people who will become your best friends and family.
“From my childhood, I have always been the greatest supporter of Valentino Rossi”, she mentioned her first inspirations in racing. “This goes hand in hand with the fact that its colors are blue and yellow, [as are Katie’s] but i think my biggest inspiration would be my dad, who ran his whole life and he never gave up once. We went back to the Isle of Man every year because it had a goal and if it didn’t hit it we would go back, and in 2018 it smashed it at over 3 mph!
“My biggest supporters are definitely my parents, because with everything they’ve been by my side and supporting me. They’ve never doubted me once and I hope to make them proud of everything. I do. Michael Hand is also key to Katie’s races on and off the track, as a team leader and chief mechanic. “My dad does everything about my bike, always to the best of his ability and he I have never broken down once, ”she said proudly.
With the call of the BSB paddock, Hand strives to be the best it can be.
“I try to get at least an hour of exercise a day, whether it’s jump rope, weight or plyometrics, but my main forms of training are cycling and running. Throughout the offseason I do a lot of flat and pitbike races, with a little bit of motocross. Keeping the bike on throughout the offseason is really important because it keeps your head in the game and you can get back into the season straight away. I’m going to Cartagena in Spain to test for a week and can’t wait to finally be able to take the time to sit on my new bike.
“Next year I will have a strong BSB season in the Junior Supersport category, which will be on my new bike, the 2021 Yamaha R3. I am so excited to have the opportunity to ride this top racing bike. range. I can’t wait to have a full season in the BSB paddock next year, I’m ready to give my all and see where I can end up now that I’m on a level playing field.