Motorsport: Avalon Biddle shows clean pair of wheels

By Eric Thompson

Kiwi rider Avalon Biddle is leading the standings in the FIM Women's Cup and is recognised as the best female motorcycle circuit racer in the sport.
Kiwi rider Avalon Biddle is leading the standings in the FIM Women's Cup and is recognised as the best female motorcycle circuit racer in the sport.

New Zealand motorcycle racer Avalon Biddle won the inaugural FIM Women's European Championship in 2015 and is in the process of making the defence of her title look easy.

While not suggesting that throwing a large motorcycle around various European racetracks is a walk in the park, Biddle is comfortably the best female racer around.

The young woman leads the women's series (within the main European Junior Cup) by a healthy 53 points over Laura Rodriguez and is nicely placed mid-pack (15th) overall.

Biddle has regularly been in the top 10 overall in the last few races and is keen to finish the last two races, starting at Magny-Cours, France in two weeks time, battling inside the top six.

"I have been qualifying and finishing inside the top 10 recently and, at the beginning of the year, I would have been over the moon with that result," said Biddle in an interview with Newstalk ZB.

"Now I really feel I'm capable of a top five or six finish because things have been going really well. I've managed to get some track time recently, [as well as last weekend's race]. I know I'm putting higher expectations on myself but it's something I am definitely capable of."

The series is a support class for the World Superbike series and the riders face each other on identical Honda CBR650F bikes. It's all about the setup in the one-make category and the margins are so close that, come race day, consistency is the key. It's something Biddle has been building on this season, but last weekend's race almost didn't go according to plan.

"It was a wet European Junior Cup race in Lausitzring [Germany] last weekend. Although the track was nearly dry by the end of our nine laps, unfortunately it was not my finest ride, but all okay [in the end]. [I] finished in 15th place overall and only just first in the Women's Cup after having a great last lap battle with UK rider Charlie Oakland. Managed to beat her over the line by only 0.1 of a second," said Biddle.

The 24-year-old from Orewa is in her fourth season punting various racing motorcycles around Europe. She has tasted success, but not the high of winning an outright overall championship.

Biddle finished second in the Italian women's championship in 2012 and helped develop a Moto3 bike for the Rumi factory team in preparation for the Italian manufacturer moving into the world championship.

"There's been a few ups-and-downs and crashes along the way but we finally got there. I feel a lot more confident this year than in the past. This year I felt I could go out there and get the job done without over extending and crashing. I still push it, but not to the extent that I'm always falling off because I'm trying way too hard.

"Being more confident in myself and my abilities has meant I'm a lot more consistent, which helps with winning a championship."

Although Biddle is one of the smallest riders in the championship, she really enjoys the challenge of flinging the 200kg Honda CB650F around. It wouldn't come as too much of a surprise after cleaning up the Women's European Championship Cup again this year if the Kiwi rider makes a move into the highly competitive European Supersport in 2017.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 21 Oct 2016 08:53:06 Processing Time: 553ms