Avalon Biddle recharged to battle with the best in 2020 NZSBK Series- Hampton Downs March 7-8th

Avalon Biddle recharged to battle with the best in 2020 NZSBK Series- Hampton Downs March 7-8th

Avalon Biddle prepares for battle competing in 2020 NZSBK Championship Round 3 at Hampton Downs on March 7-8th. Standing 14th Overall in Supersport 600 class, the 2019 defending Champion has encountered number of challenges racing Rounds 1 and 2 at Ruapuna and Timaru.

Avalon Biddle 2012 Italian Women Championship 2nd Overall

Having crashed early in Qualifying in Round One at Ruapuna, Avalon has worked hard to get back on track not just physically but also tuning into mental focus to achieve pointy end of race results.

Such mind-set is not new for the sole female NZSBK racer who has banked plenty of hard won race experience competing in European SBK Championships, Australia and NZSBK from 2011 through to present day.

In fact, Avalon’s first podium was gained racing 2012 Italian Women Championship for 2nd which led to competing in Moto3 while based in Italy with Rumi Factory Team. The move to compete in Dorna’s Women European Cup came about in 2015 racing the class within Junior European Cup inside WSBK Championship.

Ground breaking career moves indeed, and Av won. Not just once, but twice Champion of Women European Cup in 2015 and 2016 before the class was axed heading into ‘017 season. Big blow for young inspiring female racer wanting to pursue SBK career in Europe, racing small number of elite Women riders- all the while raising the profile of Women racing at WSBK level.

Avalon Biddle 2017 WSBK SSP 300 class Photo Credit: MXLink

It was in 2017 that I caught up with Avalon when she was based in Roermond, Netherlands racing World Superbike SSP 300 class under Agro-On Benjan Racing Team. We filmed interview together at her home, training at her near-by gym, went to the Team’s workshop and filmed Avalon speaking on race specs of her Kawasaki Ninja 300cc. As it turned out, the year was not quite as anticipated and Avalon made decision to return home to New Zealand.

Tough calls to make, tough circumstances to face, and tough learning curves to take on board even when world-class results had been achieved. Which makes it clear, Avalon has developed resilience of character to not only make deliberate decisions which affect her long-term career prospects but also give balance to demands of racing at professional level while looking after personal daily life.

Coming full circle, Avalon completed studies back home in NZ, nabbed great job with Link ECU company based in Christchurch and fulfills role as co-presenter of Sky Sport NZ Speed show- and can fit in racing!

Highlights of racing NZSBK post Europe have definitely been making history as first female ever to win a NZSBK Supersport 6oo Championship– which she did in 2019. Topping off the win was the fact that Avalon raced against all out male field, gaining recognition from fans and mainstream public around the globe.

Avalon Biddle 2020 Photo Credit: Avalon

With 2020 NZSBK Round 3 in 2 weeks time, I asked Avalon how the Series has been going, what are the carry-overs of juggling racing-training- and work responsibilities and what boxes are left to be ticked for this season.

Avalon: ‘Terrible! haha, I had a huge crash during Qualifying at Ruapuna which left me pretty banged up and my number 1 race bike a write off. I raced my spare bike for the rest of the weekend but it was hard work with the injuries I was carrying.

‘I had a 6th and 7th place finish, then at Timaru the next weekend I crashed again and had to retire from the rest of the weekend. Since then, I have been having heaps of treatment on my back/neck muscle strains + a tricep muscle tear and also a virus I have been battling since December’.

‘So I am well down in the Championships points, just looking to win some races now with three rounds still remaining’.

‘Yep , its hard to balance everything. Last year I raced the Australian Supersport Championship during our (NZ) off-season and it was simply too much. Trying to fit in full time work, sponsor commitments, weekly presenting with Sky Sport, training and getting track time, then flying over to Australia to race, that’s how I ended up with CMV virus as I was just run-down’.

‘I don’t think many people understand the work we put in to go racing, even just co-ordinating things with my team and making sure tyres etc are ordered, it all takes time and energy. Once NZSBK finishes in April, I will have a break over winter and just do some TT races down here in Canterbury’.

‘Hopefully I’ll be able to do the final round of ASBK at Philip Island in October. I would still love to achieve some good results over there in Aus as I feel they need some more females competing for the top positions over there’.

2020 NZSBK Round 3 Hampton Downs, March 7-8th. Header Photo Avalon Biddle Photo Credit: Mad Love Media.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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