Carlota Carochinho – Queen of the Racetrack

Most thirteen-year-olds are still figuring out their favourite subject at school, let alone planning a successful career. But Carlota Carochinho is not your average thirteen-year-old. Within a few years, Carlota aspires to become a professional motorcyclist. In every sense of the word, she is driven. David Lugg spoke to Carlota about her goals and what she needs to achieve them.

With her bright blue hair and beaming, if slightly mischievous smile, Carlota Carochinho is every bit a precocious teenager. Her confidence exudes through every pore and she has little fear. Which is fortunate because, if her dream becomes a reality, she will be racing motorbikes at breathtaking speeds of up to 360kmph (220mph). Fearless confidence is something she will need in high quantities. But enough about the future, let’s look to the past and find out where it all began.

“I was eight years old when Paulo Oliveira (father of Portuguese legendary motorcyclist Miguel Oliveira) challenged me to ride an Ohvale 110 Auto on the day I went to try to get Miguel’s autograph. I tried it out, fell in love and knew at that moment that I wanted to be a racing driver.” Trying it out and falling in love are often two wildly different experiences. I asked Carlota where this vow of self-assurance has its origins. 

“I’ve always loved sport and competition. I practise swimming, boxing and aikido. Motorcycling was a sport I got involved with in 2019 and it has undoubtedly become my great passion. Speed, adrenaline and freedom on wheels are undoubtedly the feelings that fuel this passion. They focus my drive in this sport.”

As you can see from words like ‘passion’ and ‘freedom’, Carlota seems to have found her calling, but let us not forget that she is only thirteen. You would be forgiven for thinking she couldn’t have reached a high level at such a young age. Think again. Considering she is “competing against (more experienced) boys”, she has already held various national champion titles and, last year, finished third in the FIM World Series in the 160cc category.

In such a male-dominated sport, I ask her what daily challenges she faces. “The main challenge is undoubtedly to show the big teams and brands that we women can be as good or better riders than men and that it would be very fair to open doors for us. On the track, we’re all the same. We all have the same bikes, so it would be great to have the same opportunities to develop and go further”.

There have been a few shining lights for women in professional motorcycling in recent years. In particular, Spanish rider Ana Carrasco became the SSP300 World Champion in 2018. I put it to Carlota that she must be one of her idols. “Yes, I admire Ana’s progress, but I have a closer connection with Maria Herrera, who is on the official BMW team in the Moto E category. I’ve had the opportunity to train with her a few times. I also really admire Miguel Oliveira, Marc Marquez and Pedro Acosta.”

With such a busy lifestyle, I ask Carlota if it is difficult to balance a life in motorcycling alongside her school education? “It’s not difficult. It’s actually quite easy and straightforward. It’s all a question of organisation and time management. During the week, motorcycling doesn’t take up any of my time as I can’t train, so I just do the other after-school sports.”

Unlike her school life, the financial implications of racing (and maintaining) motorcycles must be astronomical. Motorsport is traditionally a very expensive industry and there must be some serious money involved? “This is a problem that my parents and I face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there is no support and our sponsors are small companies. I’ve never had a guaranteed season, I’m always unsure whether or not I’m going to train, if I’m going to a race or if I’m going to get new tyres. This ends up being very psychologically draining for me.”

A recent racing accident caused serious damage to Carlota’s motorbike, and she needs to purchase a new one to continue racing. Her mother, Diana, has launched a crowdfunding page on GoFundMe to raise the 8,000 euros needed for a new motorcycle.

“I would very much like companies or individuals to believe in my sporting project and to support me financially so that I can progress and achieve all my goals. Each season is properly prepared and with everything secured, I will undoubtedly be able to improve with nothing to fear.”

As we turn to the future, how can we see Carlota Carochinho in action? “This year, I’m doing the National Speed Championship in the Moto5 category, with races at the Estoril and Portimão racetracks. I’m also racing in the Spanish Cup in the 190cc category. We race on different circuits, but this information and others will be posted on my social media pages.”

And what about the long term? What is the goal? “My big dream is to be the first woman to ride in MotoGP (the highest class of motorcycle road racing events). But in the short-to-medium term, I hope to be able to join a fast-growing team and make proper sporting progress there.” With more of that tenacious confidence and the right financial support, she has every chance. There is no doubt that we could have a star in the making.

If you would like to help Carlota, or perhaps you would like to be a sponsor, visit her website. or

Facebook: carlota csc#28


Share this edition