Ever since the inception of Motorsports, it was best suited only for men however Bengaluru-based woman biker Aishwarya Pissay broke gender stereotypes as she became the first Indian in history of motorsports to win a world title.
Yes, you read it right! Woman biker just bossed the competition and drifted her way to win the title that she really deserved. She won the FIM World Cup in women’s category after the final round of the championship in Varpalota, Hungary.
The event was organised by the International Motorcycling Federation, which is the governing body for motorcycle racing in the world.
Aishwarya, who won the opening round in Dubai, finished third in Portugal, fifth in Spain and fourth in Hungary in subsequent outings, had finished with an overall tally of 65 points and is four points ahead of Portugal’s Rita Vieira in the final total standings for women.
As far as the Hungarian leg is concerned, Aishwarya finished with 52 points and Vieira with 45 points. They were the top contenders for the title. The fourth-place finish in Hungary earned the Indian woman biker 13 points, while Vieira, who was placed third earned 16.
“Honour to put India on a global motorsports map. When I suffered career-threatening injuries, it was a tough phase of my life. But I believed in myself and was determined to get back on the bike, which I did in nearly six months.
So, winning the World Cup is huge for me. It’s an absolute honour to be the first athlete to bring home a world championship title and put India on the map of international motorsports,” she added.
She went on to finish second in the junior category in which both men and women competed against each other and Aishwarya finished with 46 points behind championship winner Tomas de Gavardo (60 points) of Chile. However, the 23-year-old’s ambition is quite clear now as she wants to make India proud at the Dakar Rally.
“I hope I will be able to get more sponsors on board and eventually realise my dream of participating and finishing the Dakar Rally, which is considered the world’s most difficult cross-country race. In any case, I will pursue that dream no matter what,” she said.
FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India), congratulated Aishwarya for creating history in motorsports. “Aishwarya Pissay of TVS clinches the FIM Baja World Cup 2019 in women’s category. FMSCI congratulates India’s first-ever FIM World Cup champion,” FMSCI tweeted.
It was only last year that Aishwarya had become the first Indian female rider to compete in the gruelling Baja Aragon Rally. That rally concluded prematurely for the Indian as she crashed and suffered from the ruptured pancreas in the process.
“I have had two major accidents. One in which I hurt my collar bone in 2017, then I had a bad fall and ruptured my pancreas in 2018. I underwent surgery and was in the hospital for two months. There was not a single day in the hospital that I thought I would not be able to race again. That incident taught me the importance of never giving up,” she recalled.
It was in 2017, the doctors inserted a steel plate and seven screws to fix Aishwarya’s collarbone. She was also asked not to race another three-four weeks. “I had a race in just five days. Nothing was going to stop me. I got up and raced and won the championship,” she said.
Aishwarya, who started biking just five years ago, is also the first Indian woman to have clinched 5 national road racing and rally championship titles. “I started going on weekend rides with my friends and that is where my love for biking began.
Then in 2015, I began training at the Apex Racing Academy in Coimbatore and realised I had the skill set to get into professional racing and biking.”
“I met some women during my initial training days who were ready to take racing as a hobby, but not as a profession. I am glad I didn’t go their way.”
(Originally Published In The Times Of India)