Belfast Telegraph

Maria Costello celebrates 10th anniversary of racing at 2014 Vauxhall International North West 200

They say that life begins at forty and for the UK’s top girl bike racer, Maria Costello, hitting that milestone has seen an exciting new challenge open up for her.

The Northamptonshire racer, who has enjoyed podium finishes at the North West 200 and Manx Grand Prix, has been appointed to the FIM’s (the sport’s governing body) Women’s Motorcycling Commission for 2014.

“It is a great honour that is aimed at supporting and encouraging women all over the world who want to ride motorcycles.” Maria says.

“I have just came back from a FIM training camp in Almeria in Spain where we had women from Germany, Iceland, Canada, Holland and Spain racing very fast on BMW 1000s. I want to do a lot more to help women to enjoy motorcycling in the same way that I have. Bike racing has been the best thing I have ever done in my life and I want to help open up that opportunity for other women.”

Road racing has played a major part in Costello’s competitive career and she will make her tenth visit to the Vauxhall International North West 200 on May 17.

“I finished fourth in the 400cc race in my debut year in 2005.” Maria recalled.

“I love the NW course because you always get to go so, so fast, I love it.” she says fearlessly.

 “I have already sorted a Kawasaki ER6 for the Supertwins race and a GSXR 600 Suzuki for both Supersport races.” she explained.

“I am also trying so sort a Superstock spec bike for the bigger races and I hope to get that finalised in the next couple of weeks.”

The Supertwins race will be the focus of Maria’s North West campaign in 2014. Surprisingly she has never raced a twin around the 8.9 mile Portstewart-Coleraine-Portrush Triangle course before but she will have a Bob Jackson prepared ESM/ Hol-Taj ER6 Kawasaki for the Thursday and Saturday scheduled races.

“I am really looking forward to mixing it with Farquhar, Hillier and McWilliams in those races.” Maria smiles.

“I built the twin myself and it is my pride and joy. They are great little bikes to ride and I want a good result on it at the North West.”

NW Event Director Mervyn Whyte, MBE, says he has always valued Maria Costello’s ambassadorial role on behalf of female racers.

“I am delighted to hear of Maria’s new role with the FIM and her thoroughly professional approach makes her a great example to every road racer.  She brings something special to the North West 200 every year and I am certain Maria will be giving the boys a run for their money in both Supertwins races.”

Further reading

2014 Vauxhall International North West 200 launched 

Practice and race schedule announced 

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