“Growing up, I was around racing all the time and there were only one or two women competing, and I thought to myself, ‘I could do that, I could be fast’,” says motorbike racer Nicole Lynch. Riding her Medlar Racing Suzuki SV650, she was the first Irish female rider to compete in the World Superbike Championship.
Dublin-born Nicole has been riding bikes from the age of four and racing since 2014, with numerous podium finishes under her belt. In 2016, she competed in the European Junior Cup.
Nicole comes from a family of keen bikers. “When I was nine my brother started racing sidecars, so we used to go to Mondello at the weekends and watch him race. I remember sitting in his sidecar holding onto the handlebars, pretending I was the one going racing.”
Being the only woman on the grid doesn’t bother Nicole and she quickly discovered there are no barriers out on the track.
“The guys don’t treat me different, or race any easier against me. If I beat them it’s fair and square, and if I don’t it just motivates me more,” she says, and in some ways it has worked to her advantage. “My sponsors and supporters are all very interested in promoting female inclusion and participation in sport.”
In between competitions, Nicole is committed to not only raising her profile but also those of other female competitors and writes a monthly column in both Bike Buyers Guide and wheelsforwomen.ie. “It is so important right now to show that women can compete in what are usually described as male-dominated sports. Women can do it too, and as more women get involved, the sport can only continue to improve.”