You can hear it now, the jeers, the laughter, from your fellow chauvinists, as you’ve just been overtaken by a girl. Well, with female riders like Martina ‘Marty’ Beltrandi showing a lot of the boys (and the girls) how to do it, you might want to get used to it.
SMMA: Where are you from?
MB: I come from Milan, Italy.
SMMA: How long have you been riding for?
MB: I started to ride when I was 10 years old on a mini-cross. After I rode with friends on a minibike. Since I was little I wanted to race, but my parents didn’t want me too, even though my mother did rallying for many years.
SMMA: When did you start riding SuperMoto?
MB: I started in 2003, when all of my friends and my brother started to ride supermoto. I was very fascinated with this bike. My first supermoto was a Yamaha 125 2T. Afterward, I bought a Honda 250 4T and now I have my fantastic KTM 450 4T.
SMMA: When did you start racing?
MB: I started to race when I was 20 years old, in 2004, in the regional championship. I remember that in my first race, it rained a lot. I had never ridden in the rain and my best friend said to me “It’s OK Marty, go on. Be careful, and the most important thing is that you don’t crash!” So…I did three turns and then crashed.
SMMA: What do you like most about SuperMoto racing?
MB: I love SuperMoto because I’ve always loved dirt bikes and street bikes, so SuperMoto is a very good compromise. I also love to slide and jump, so it’s very very good. I love it!
SMMA: What team are you currently riding for?
MB: I’m currently riding for the MAD BAT RACING TEAM. It’s a very big and beautiful family.
SMMA: How do you find it as a female in a male dominated sport?
MB: I think it’s hard for some males that a girl can be faster than them. Especially a few years ago when there was only 2-3 girls riding SuperMoto in Italy. Now I think it is more normal. In the beginning, for me it was very difficult. In my first 2 seasons of riding, I was always being hit by other riders, some of them always make hard overtaking(sic), I think on purpose. After I became faster, I gave them back this hard overtaking.
SMMA: Would you encourage more females to start racing/riding SuperMoto?
MB: Yes, of course! Girls have to start racing/riding SuperMoto because it’s a wonderful sport. It’s not very expensive like road racing, and you don’t have to be as strong like dirt bike racing, so it is perfect for those who want ride for fun, or who want to start racing.
SMMA: Are there any groups that women can join to find other like minded female riders?
MB: Yes, my friend Mary founded the website SuperMoto Girls. It’s a worldwide site where all girls that ride SuperMoto can write about their championships, or their passions. Once a year, all the SuperMoto Girls meet at an Italian track. We reserve the track for the whole day, and we set-up 2 courses; one for the rookies, and one for the experts. At the end of the day, we have a little “race”, for everyone to enjoy.
SMMA: What are your plans for the future?
MB: In Italy, we have 3-4 different female championships, and I would really like to win all of these. In 2011, I won the Italian female trophy, and this year, I will ride in the other female championships. I would also like to improve myself against the men in the Italian championships. Last year, I finished in 23rd position. There were 80 male riders and only two girls. I was the first female.
The most important thing for the future is to enjoy myself. Even if I only have a few results, it’s better that I have enjoyed myself. I would also like to travel to another country and ride; to see the level of other riders in another country.
SMMA: What do you think needs to be done to promote SuperMoto racing, both in Italy and internationally?
MB: To promote this sport, it’s important to make the championship not too expensive. We also need intelligent rules, support for tyres etc, that can help young riders approach this world. The most beautiful thing would be to male a TV program about this. Now, they make programs for everything, and I think it would be the best way to promote the sport; also for girls.
SMMA: Do you have any sponsors? Who are they?
MB: I have some sponsors, because for a girl, it’s more easy to get them. My main sponsor however is my family, of course. After that I have : Hebo, who supply me with Helmets and S-Attitude Sport Marketing. Lo Specialista is my preferred mechanics. Vibram provide me with the outsole for the SuperMoto sliding boot. There is also all the sponsors for the MAD BAT racing team. That’s it for the moment, although I’m always looking for new sponsors.
SMMA:Any final words?
MB: Slide for your life, run faster and go party!!!
You can follow Martina on Twitter, as well as Facebook.
Ed – Apologies to all for the late posting, but I’m currently in China without the best of internet connections.
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