As if it were a thing of fate, Carla Grau Pi is the only female team manager of the World Superbike in Ana Carrasco’s team, the first to have won a Motorcycle World Championship. Although more than destiny, it is about a duo of capable women, trained and, above all, who feel a great passion for motorcycles and have people who trust their ability and merits without distinction of gender.

Without expecting it, Carla (Bellaterra, 1999) has become Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300 team manager this year, being the only woman to lead a superbike team. A task that, although it is not as visible as that of a pilot, is fundamental and entails a great responsibility. All this at 21 years old, which is not 22 as it has appeared in other media. “I rush 21, that 22 already sounds serious and I don’t like it,” he jokes during his interview with Shop.

Although he is about to finish the Sport Management career At Blanquerna, which is part of the Ramón Llull University, Carla has always preferred to work than to study and try in different sectors to “rule out what you don’t like.” She has never closed doors, but she always returns to the world of sports, as if attracted by a magnet. Perhaps it is due to the influence of his father, with whom he shares a love for motorcycles, or maybe, now, because of fate.

Carla during a workout.

Spanish ski champion

And is that his another great passion was skiing for years, a sport that she began to practice when she was three years old and that has accompanied her practically her entire life. “I have not tried many other sports, it has always been the world of snow, although I also liked to play soccer at recess, the typical thing.”

“In my family there was a tradition of snow because we had a house in the mountains and we went on weekends. In fact, my father at that time was a ski teacher on weekends and they signed me up for a club. I did a year and then I already started competing when I was five or six years old. “

He kept on competing to the point of becoming Alpine skiing champion of Spain in 2015 And, if she had continued, it is very likely that she would have achieved the dream she had as a child: “You asked me what I wanted to be and I called you Olympic skiing. Almost to the end that was what I wanted to do. ”

Carla Grau during the Borrufa Trophy in 2015.

Carla Grau during the Borrufa Trophy in 2015.

Catalan Federation of Winter Sports

Between the difficulty of practicing a snow sport at a professional level in Spain and personal circumstances, Carla decided to leave it and look for other opportunities. “I always trained alone and it was difficult because you dedicate a lot, even one training is from nine to two. I was already a little saturated and apart from that I had a personal situation in my family. Everything came together and I said look, skiing in Spain is a minority sport Y I knew that making a living skiing would be very, very difficult “.

“I thought about being more realistic and study what I wanted to work where I wanted, which is precisely where I am now “he assures with a smile from ear to ear. “I think I was lucky and it was a good decision. Maybe I’m wrong and now I would be competing in the World Cup, I don’t know, but I don’t regret the decision.”

Arrival at Kawasaki

For a time he was helping his parents in the family business, a real estate consultancy, “in the preparation of portfolios and the presentation of documents so that it would be more beautiful so to speak. It was not a job in front of the public, but a bit of design management paperwork to try to make it a little better for them. ”

Without being a job that she “disliked”, Carla did not take her eyes off her true vocation: sports, specifically motorcycling. Since she was little, she had enjoyed motorcycles and even her father, a former pilot, gave her one when she was only seven years old.. “At home we have always liked it. During the weekend of the race we were always glued to the television and taking advantage of the fact that there are many great prizes in Spain, whether in Catalonia, Jerez or Aragon, I have gone to all three places”.

So when he saw the opportunity to make his way in the sector, he did not hesitate for a second. “The Roda brothers, who are the two people who are in charge of Provec Racing, the team’s management company, are from my town and lifelong friends of my family. One day I told them that I was studying Sport Management. Y I started to try a bit to do internships, already with the eye to try and, as I said before, see if I liked it or discard “.

Carla, right, with the rest of the Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300 team.

Carla, right, with the rest of the Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300 team.

“They told me that it would be good for them to help them with the media issue and to go to the circuits with the guests. I started like this in 2019, I went to the first race in Portimao, did the score and the season was over. So I didn’t do it bad at all, well we don’t know either “he jokes.

Since 2019 she has gone from ‘being the new one in the office’ to leading the team, all this combining it, remember, with her studies. She takes away the iron from the matter and avoids giving it too much importance. “The Covid in that sense has been phenomenal for me, because my classes were face-to-face and at my university attendance is very up-to-date. The fact of being able to travel and connect at the same time online has made things much easier for me” .

Competition in pandemic

The opposite has happened in the workplace. His main function as a team manager is to organize the team and, among other things, manage travel for competitions and training sessions, something that has been greatly complicated by the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus. “I can’t compare it to when there was no Covid, but it is true that wherever you go, especially in other countries, you have to consider this. The PCRs, the curfew … “.

“We went on a trip to Italy and had to go by car because there were no flights. In France the curfew was at six so of course, we couldn’t go back because we didn’t comply. I try to keep up to date but how they change it every week , makes it difficult. In the end, each person, each company, each country organizes it as they can and as they believe. “

Carla hugs Ana during a workout.

Carla hugs Ana during a workout.

Always with her computer and mobile phone, from one side of the world to the other, Carla has discovered that she not only likes racing, but also everything behind it. “If the purpose of your work is something that you like and, above all, in the process you enjoy what you take with you, not everyone can say the same about their work.”

And it is that she has a team that has placed its trust in her and a pilot, Ana Carrasco, with whom she blends perfectly. “Ana is a person who is very easy to work with.. On a personal level, we spent many hours together, as with the rest of the team, so getting along with someone with whom you spend so much time is really appreciated. “

Women on motorcycles

It seems that the two make a difference in a world with still few women, but Carla supports what Ana told MagasIN more than a year ago: she does not feel, in her case, the only World Superbike team manager. “At the level of work, Ana is the first female world champion, but as she says, it is very good to have won a world championship, her goal is to win another one again, but within the paddock she does not feel like the only woman or the first champion. She feels like a pilot more and on equal terms than the rest “.

Carla Grau and Ana Carrasco.

Carla Grau and Ana Carrasco.

“In that sense I position myself the same as team manager. It is very good to be the first woman and if that helps to make more visible that there may be more opportunities for others, then perfect, but I don’t feel like the only woman team manager in the paddock either. I just feel like one more person trying to work to meet Ana’s and team’s goals, It is done”.

And she’s quick to remind herself that she and Ana aren’t the only women on the Kawasaki team. “We have a lot of the truth. I would not want to leave anyone, but we have Amara, who is Johnny’s coach -Jonathan Rea- who is seven times World Champion; Eva, who is the media coordinator; Silvia, team coordinator; Carla, who is at the Hospitality … “.

“I think there are many more than what is seen on television because it is also true that the ones where there are more are the media, Hospitality, coordination jobs. There are fewer mechanics than mechanics and fewer female pilots than men, which in the end is the only thing you see. Could there be more? Yes, it is very clear, but I think it will increase. Before it was unthinkable that there would be a female mechanic or a female pilot and look now, only in our team we already have two examples. I think that is a matter of time and it will be equated “.

In a few years, Carla may witness that change of which she is already a part. For the moment, just wait for the season to start, for which there are just under three weeks, and help Ana try to reach the podium again. “It is a sector that I like and I would like to continue for a few more years. I am very comfortable with my colleagues and it is clear that they value me because they have given me the opportunity to work here. Now, it is more difficult to stay than to arrive, but the fact to be able to be, even for a year here in a team like this, is amazing, I can’t say anything else “.

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