'We need to find a way to save road racing' - Maria Costello
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'We need to find a way to save road racing' - Maria Costello
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Maria Costello has said she hopes the absence of road racing due to the coronavirus pandemic will make the sport stronger.

Costello, who considers Ireland to be the "motherland" of road racing, feels everything has to be done to help the sport.

"The number of events were dwindling already, struggling or had fallen off the schedule," she said.

"We need to find a way to make sure they can continue."

"Maybe not having them this year will make people really miss it and it could make them stronger next year."

The North West 200, Isle of Man TT and national road races on both sides of the Irish border have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Costello, 46, added that the Ulster Grand Prix "disappearing before our eyes" due to a financial crisis was "heartbreaking".

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, the Northamptonshire rider was set to enter her 25th season of racing and admits the sport has been "a wonderful part" of her life.

Costello was awarded an MBE for services to motorcycling in 2009 and has been a leading advocate for more women and girls to get involved with motorsport.

She highlights Ana Carrasco's World Supersport 300 title in 2018 as a breakthrough moment for women in racing.

"There has been an influx of young girls coming into the sport," she said. "From the mini-bikes series to Ana Carrasco winning a world championship in the 300 class.

"Ana really did highlight the fact that women can compete on equal terms.

"That is massive for our sport."

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16-05-2020, 05:50 PM
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