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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Munich, 18/03/2015, BMW Road Race Challenge

It’s not about gender – it’s about passion

The best season ever

Britain’s Maria Costello – honoured as a Member of the British Empire for her services to motorcycling in 2009 – made history and set a Guinness World Record when she became the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course a decade ago, despite nursing a broken collar bone. The first woman to stand on the podium at the TT and the fastest woman ever to lap the Ulster Grand Prix course is trusting in the power of the BMW S 1000 RR to make 2015 her best year ever. BMW Motorrad Motorsport caught up with her to check on her plans for the season.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: You're heading into what could be your best year ever in motorcycle racing and you'll be in the line-up at some of the most renowned road races such as the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster Grand Prix. What is so special about road racing? What makes it so fascinating?

Costello: Road racing is what I love. It’s such an emotive place to race for all the senses. Nothing else brings me more to life than racing on real roads. And it’s a fantastic sport for spectators. The road races are spectacular to watch and spectators can get close to the action and the riders.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: Which race is your favourite and why?

Costello: I truly love them all. They are all similar in the fact that they are run on roads that are used by the general public and then get closed off for us to race on, but they are all different, too - wide, narrow, bumpy, twisty, fast and slow. They have so much to challenge you in different ways.

Fast and agile – the BMW S 1000 RR

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: What’s your impression of the brand new BMW S 1000 RR?

Costello: That’s simple. It’s fantastic. Fast, agile. I love it.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: What are your aims for this season?

Costello: To have a fantastic season on the BMW S 1000 RR. I love going fast and I want to get that lap record back at the TT. Furthermore, I have unfinished business at the North West 200, as I injured myself there last year. I am working towards rectifying both of these things for sure and I’ve never felt so good about it.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: How do you prepare for the season?

Costello: Eat, train, race, sleep, repeat.

Focused on racing and getting more women into motorcycle racing

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: What does it take to be a successful rider at road races?

Costello: You need to be focused, fit and strong - both mentally and physically - and you need determination and a great team around you. This year I am joining forces with the well-known ICE Valley team, who had the fastest newcomer at the TT in 2014. The team has been competing consistently at the highest levels of racing for several years. They're a great team and they're ready to support my assault on the roads.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: Besides taking part in the races, your aim is to get more women into motorcycle racing. How are you going about this?

Costello: I’m running three women-only track days at Donington Park this year. They are for women of all levels of experience, but particularly novices. It’s not a typical track day that focusses on speed, although this is catered for too; the track days are more about improving your riding skills and confidence in a controlled environment with instruction from me and my team of instructors.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: Which other races will you be competing in this year?

Costello: My calendar for this year is quite provisional as I need a lot of financial support to take part in all these races. However, I am planning to compete at the road races in Cookstown, Skerries, Walderstown, Armoy and at the Classic TT.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport: Thanks for the interview and good luck for the season!