We at MissMalini love women achiever’s and especially if they do something different from the norm. That’s why, we were intrigued to do an exclusive email interview with Alisha Abdullah, who has the unique distinction of being India’s only woman super bike racer.
Alisha has been fascinated by racing ever since she was a kid. At eight years old, Alisha was drawn to go-karting and was winning go-karting races by the time she was eleven. By the time she was thirteen years- old, she won the MRF National Go-Karting Championship and the Best Novice Award in the National Level Formula Car Racing in the open class. Alisha then moved on to Formula car racing and managed to come fifth in the JK Tyre National Championship 2004. She made the switch from four wheels to bikes in the same year.
Team MM: How did you get into motor sport racing?
AA: I got into racing when I was eight years old. I started off with go-karting for fun and then it became quite serious. Since my dad is a racer himself, I was very interested in the sport and wanted to be a racer.
Team MM: How difficult is it for a woman to get into motor sport racing?
AA: It involves a lot of sacrifices which is actually very difficult. From a very young age, I’ve not led a normal girls life. If I have time, I need to hit the gym and if I have extra time, I need to concentrate on my diet so no junk food for me.
Team MM: What kind of training is required for women into motor sports?
AA: It’s actually a combination of different kinds but especially, a lot of cardio. It’s important to strengthen your neck muscles and lower back (for car racing) so that injury becomes less painful if you crash.
Team MM: Why are male racers like Narain Karthikeyan, given so much of celebrity status and not women racers?
AA: Since Narain is the first Indian to enter Formula 1,I’m guessing that maybe the main reason. But probably because I am the only (and fastest) female racer in the country according to the Motorsports Federation of India, not many people are aware of me, ironically.
Team MM: How does she plan to promote the sport in India, for women?
AA: It’s all about yourself and your love for bikes and cars. I’ve heard a lot of women race on roads and I definitely salute them. But I think they should bring all those skills on to the track. Track racing is definitely safer than on roads but not as easy. You need to think like a man, act like a man and race like a man!
Team MM: What bikes do you own and why did you make a switch to bikes from cars?
AA: I have a Repsol Honda 600cc customized only for racing. I switched from cars to bikes because I wanted to take a break. But I’m getting back, stronger!
Team MM: What is you ultimate goal / dream?
AA: It’s definitely to be the first Indian woman racer to enter the international racing circuit. Very simply, I want to create a world-famous name for myself like Kalpana Chawla did!