NM: Can you introduce yourself to the folks that are not familiar with
FlyGirl: “My Name is Aisha Vatsa, I’m known as Fly girl in the biking circles.”
NM: How does your family take your love for biking especially now that you are racing?
FlyGirl: “Hahaha my biking in general is a bitter pill to swallow, I don’t think they have fully understood my love for long distance rides let alone digesting the racing aspect.”
NM: You have made the jump from supporter (to Dot) to racer in one year. Can you tell us how this came about
FlyGirl: “My support for DoT09 has always and will always be there. I’m still her Crew chief (as we joke about it a lot), but even last year I had plans to race but some personal reasons made me hold back, but this year we are here.”
NM: How has the transition from street to track riding been?
FlyGirl: “Quite an experience, trust me no matter how you ride it’s totally a different ball game.”
NM: How did the partnership with 24-7 racing come about?
FlyGirl: “We just got to talking with our Team principal ‘TP’ as we now call him and I think it was just a GOOD FIT. Honestly, having someone who believes in you and is ready to support you 100% is a great thing and rare.”
NM:You were one of four female racers to compete during the qualifiers in February, how do you feel with so many female riders on the grid
FlyGirl: “Proud to have come this far. Every year, there has always been a few females on the BT, with the exception of the last two years where it was just DOT09 and no matter what ,we look out for each other. Everyone on the track does and it’s just a racing family.”
NM: Do you think a separate race for ladies would be more ideal or you prefer the combined race?
FlyGirl: “I am quite torn honestly, but I think I would like to go in with the boys 😀.”
NM: Will you be attending the remaining qualifiers especially as your lap time in Q1 might not guarantee qualification come race day?
FlyGirl: “yes I believe my team will be present at the next qualifiers.”
NM: You are team mates with the two time defending champion in the intermediate class, do you pick his brain, learn from him seeing as you are both racing in the same category?
FlyGirl: “OH yessss… Alpa is a wealth of track knowledge, always willing to share … During the last outing, I honestly felt like there wasn’t enough of him to go round. But I don’t know, he may have to share that trophy with a team mate this year (hahaha).”
NM: Does the team share information to the entire riders in the same category or there is a Chinese wall?
FlyGirl: “at 24/7 we are pretty easy going in terms of information. I mean it is not like we we are secretly building a set of race bikes we plan to unleash race day…or are we???.”
NM: What does it feel like being in a male dominated sport. Has there been acceptance especially in the paddock?
FlyGirl: “Yeah, I think we have gone past a lot over the years in biking and the guys have accepted that women with Balls do exist hahahahaha and like I said earlier, we are just one big happy race family.”
NM: The race track had a bit of gravel and dust during Q1, did this affect your strategy?
FlyGirl: “Yes it did a lot…But we always put safety first, adapt and get it done . I must commend Mr. Moto’s efforts though, truly it has not been easy … it’s safe to say when I first met him a few years ago, and he talked about putting up a track up, I honestly thought he was bonkers, but today with all pride, I would say ‘Hey I’m Racing at the Bikers Trophy in Benin, come watch Me…’ and for that I would like to say Thank You Mr. Moto for your selfless act to biking in Nigeria and I’m sorry for thinking you were bonkers (hi-five).”
NM: What are your expectations for the season. What will you consider a successful season? FlyGirl: “1st place… eyes on the prize hahahahaha.”
NM: Lastly, What message do you have for young and potential female racers in Nigeria.
FlyGirl: “it’s an achievable reality, one ride at a time. Put safety first and I hope to see you all on the track next year…. even if you just want to come visit us at the track we are happy to have you… trust me, you will never be the same… Or we can chat about the track experience on Instagram @fg_bg55.”
NM: Thank you for your time, we wish you all the best this season.
FlyGirl: “Thank you!!! It’s been my shy pleasure”.