Female Rider Moreda Ready To Make History At IMS
Shelina Moreda will make history when she starts the first AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 race Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, becoming the first female to race a motorcycle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The two AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 races – at 4:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday – will mark the first time that Harley-Davidson motorcycles and their distinctive V-Twin rumble have run at speed at IMS since the first motor race at the facility in August 1909.
Moreda, from Petaluma, Calif., earned her AMA professional license in 2010. She has competed in a limited AMA SuperSport schedule since then. But Moreda has ridden motorcycles since she was 12 years old, growing up on her family’s dairy farm.
Following a test session Aug. 19 at IMS, Moreda spoke about her passion and long-term goals for motorcycle racing:
Q: As a first-time visitor to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, what are your first impressions?
SHELINA MOREDA: I had heard all about it my whole life and finally made it out here, and luckily for me I’m not just watching today. It was amazing. Being able to ride at a track that everybody talks about and you hear about growing up, and everything is awesome all in itself. Coming here, it’s really grand. Driving up to it, it’s like, ‘Wow!’ I flew over it. I was lucky enough to see it from the airplane, and that was an awesome feeling, also. And riding here, it’s a really cool track. Not only is it cool because of the history behind it, but it’s a fun track to ride, especially on this bike.
Q: What’s your favorite aspect of the IMS course?
MOREDA: Being it’s my first time here and I only got that one long session in, I was really trying to figure the track out, and it was all overwhelming. I liked a lot of things about it. I like the turns, like Turn 4. I like how it’s a sweeper and you just have to haul into it. Turn 1, too, is the same thing. You’re coming off a front straight, the fastest that you’re going on the whole track, and you just got to keep it pinned and downshift a couple times. But you can’t really let off the throttle too much, and I like that part of it. I like the sweepers, and it’s got some technical stuff, too. It’s got a real good mix, and that’s my favorite part about the track.
Q: How long does it ordinarily take you to get comfortable with a new track?
MOREDA: I take longer than probably the average person does because I’ve only been riding tracks for three years, and I just started racing professionally. I’m just getting started seeing tracks aside from what we have in California. I haven’t had to pick up on tracks very much, but it took me probably an hour in my session to really get it figured out and know where I was going with it. You pick different corners to work on and you don’t necessarily go from (Turns) 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, so I learned the track picking up that last set of corners and Turns 4 to 5 to 6 were the first places where I started picking it up. Then you come in and you figure out a new corner to work on and work from there, so you pick it apart. I got a couple sections of the track down pretty quick and then had to focus on other areas.
Q: What do you think it’s going to be like with more than 30 bikes on this track at the same time on Race Day?
MOREDA: Awesome! That’s the best part of racing. That’s my favorite, oh, yeah. I get bored when I’m out there just by myself, and it’s always more fun when you have somebody to dice with, and if you have 30 bikes to dice with, it’s that much more fun. And you learn from the people that are faster than you that way, and you learn from battling with people who are the same speed.
Q: While you’re racing in close quarters with other riders, is there an unspoken trust between you that you’ll do everything possible to avoid contact?
MOREDA: Totally, and there really is. And you do bump into each other sometimes and that does happen, but you have a trust in the guy next to you that they’re going to hold their line and they know that you’re going to hold yours, so you’ve got to hold up to your end of t