An invitation from FIM, the world motorsport federation, to participate in the Women’s Road Racing Training Camp in Spain this October forced Alisha Abdullah to change her plans. India’s only woman bike racer had all but given up two-wheeler racing after a horrendous crash in 2010. She switched to four-wheeler racing, participating in the Polo Cup and making history as the first ever woman to make it to the podium in 2011.
The offer from Nita Korhonen, director of the Commission for Women in Motorcycling (CWM), to be among the select women bikers of the world and the only Indian woman to attend world-class training on BMW 1000RR bike was irresistible. “A chance to ride my dream bike on a world-class track in Spain and only women riders for company? Well, there was no way I could have let that opportunity slip. It will also be my first Europe trip,” the excited super bike rider said. The first ever all-women camp will be held at the Circuit of Albacete, Spain between Oct 4 to 6.
Alisha has been racing since she was an eight-year-old, a natural course to take considering her father RA Abdullah has won several national titles in bike racing. Starting with karting where she established herself as a champion racer, Alisha switched to bikes. “Ideally, racing cars would have been the next goal. But it was too expensive and I opted for bikes,” the 24-year-old racer who also has the distinction of being the only Indian woman to participate in the Asian GP, said.
Alisha Abdullah is the daughter of a former legendary racer, Mr. R.A. Abdullah. Starting with 110cc bikes as a 16-year-old, Alisha gave the men a run for their money with constant podium finishes. She switched to the more powerful 600cc super bikes and did well. She finished third in the championship twice and looked set for more but after a scary crash in 2010, it looked like curtains for two-wheeler racing. “In a completely male-dominated sport, I think I bruised quite a few men’s egos. They couldn’t stand a girl push past guys and many a time they deliberately hit my bike. Being a no-nonsense girl, I always fought back. But the crash was the threshold. I didn’t want to race bikes anymore though I loved it,” she recalled.
So is she mulling a comeback to two-wheeler racing after accepting the training opportunity? “Depending on the session and the availability of sponsors, I am open to racing bikes again, but only abroad. I am done with bike racing in India,” she said, adding she would continue four-wheeler racing in India. “Now that my Polo Cup contract is over, I am trying to enter Formula Ford 1600 series or the newly introduced Toyota Etios racing series. It all depends on the sponsors. Right now it is Spain calling,” she said.
Alisha Abdullah has the unique distinction of being India’s only woman super bike racer,and the only FASTEST Indian car racer too.. Well it is no surprise because racing runs in her genes. Her father RA Abdullah was himself a famous bike racer and a seven-time national champion.
Alisha has been fascinated by racing since she was a kid. As a nine-year-old, Alisha was drawn to go-karting. She was winning go-karting races by the time she was eleven. When she was just 13-years-old, she won the MRF National Go-Karting Championship and the Best Novice Award in the National level Formula Car Racing in the open class .
Alisha then moved on to formula car racing and managed to come fifth in the JK Tyre National Championship, 2004. She made the switch from four wheels to bikes in the same year.
Talking about the change Alisha’s father who noted, “The fact is formula car racing can get very expensive. Motorbike racing is easier to manage financially, and moreover, I know what is what in motorbike racing and I can guide her. So I asked Alisha to try bike racing.”
Alisha regards her father as a role model and hero. “I have never seen anybody ride better,” is her take. its tough on girls to come into racing, a lot of sacrifice and hard work is needed!
“Its all in your mind !! Nothing is impossible ! i got put down, mocked, and what not , but i believe that’s how you become stronger ”
Speed is what keeps her going in her everyday life too, if she is not found on the track !! guess where she is found spending her whole time???? At the “GYM” training as hard as a guy, preparing way in advance for all her upcoming races !!
Alisha and racing are just inseparable. She is synonymous with speed, guts and glory.
See her website: http://www.alishaabdullah.com/profile.html
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