Carlota Carochinho is the only girl in motorcycling in the country and the only child from the Algarve in this sport. This fact, and Carlota’s consecutive victories, have seen the media shine a spotlight on the rider and her achievements.

Carlota started riding in 2019 and in 2020 was the national champion. In 2022 she was the national champion again. This year she upgraded to a superior motorbike (160cc) and is in second place in the ranking. Carlota also competes in the Spanish championship and last year she came sixth.

When I asked this 12-year-old girl what it takes to be a great rider, she told me that, physically, a good rider has to be strong, which is why she trains in many other sports in her spare time after school, such as swimming, aikido and kickboxing. On a mental level, she says it's very important to "break down mental barriers. We can't say I can't do it if we don't try".

According to her mother, Diana Sério: "Being a rider came from her. No one ever thought of having a rider daughter”. Carlota's parents have always been motorbike lovers, but on the road, no one ever imagined their daughter's bright future in motorcycling. "My mother thought that when I got to a certain age I would want to have a scooter to go to school because as my parents liked it I would probably like it too", Carlota said.

However, everything changed when "one day we heard that Miguel Oliveira was going to be in Portimão, at the International Autódromo of the Algarve, and we wanted to get his autograph, and there was a 110cc scooter there. Miguel Oliveira's father, Paulo Oliveira, told me that I had potential and that I could be a potential rider and that's how we got started. He challenged me to my first race”.

Expensive sport

"She went to her first race on a scooter borrowed from Miguel Oliveira's father. After that, it was up to us (parents) to work out what we were going to do with Carlota. What we did was to prepare a sporting project and try to get sponsors since 2019. We complete the seasons with a lot of sacrifice. As parents, we don't have the financial resources to have Carlota in a sport like this," Diana said.

Her mother told us how difficult it is to keep her daughter in such a sport. "The great weight of everything starts with training. The motorbike has its maintenance costs. Carlota has already broken two engines this year. One engine costs around 1,000€. Carlota's motorbike costs around 6,000€."

Great struggle

Carlota's parents are fighting hard to keep their daughter shining in this sport. However, there are no miracles. Without money, they won't get anywhere. Diana Sério told me that they have no money for the next race, which is worrying them a lot. They have a structured sports plan and anyone who wants to sponsor will be able to put it towards their tax bills.

As there is only one karting race in the Algarve, in Portimão, which has no other kids for Carlota to train with, the family is forced to travel miles every weekend so that their daughter can train, including in Spain.

"The kids in Spain have other conditions. They have motorcycle schools, which allow them to train, for example, three times a week. And there are kids who train every day. This ends up being a disadvantage for Carlota compared to the others because she trains less often" (only at weekends).

"What we really need is money, but if someone gives us a fuel card instead of money, that would be great too. We need money because we need to pay for the rental of the race track, we need to eat, we need to pay for travel, which includes tolls, fuel, even though we have a motorhome and so we save on overnight stays," she said.

Next step towards a great future

"Carlota is now facing a big stage in her life in motorcycling. Next year, Carlota will move on to professional motorcycling. Carlota will leave the karting track and go to the main racing track", the mother said

However, there are many associated costs that the family alone can't face. "The motorbike that Carlota needs to make this transition costs 8,000 Euros and we need an extra engine, which costs 2,500 Euros. Making a racing suit costs 1600 euros, because these suits are made of kangaroo leather, they have all the protection so that the riders are protected from the falls that can happen. If you add up the motorbike, spare engine and suit, boots, gloves and helmet, it's almost 15,000 euros. Then for the new motorbike, each set of tires will cost 500 Euros and she wears out a set of tires every time she trains," Diana Sério added.


All in all, "we hope that with Carlota's moving to a 2.5 cc, some entities with financial power will bet on Carlota's project in the medium and long term. These organisations that take Carlota on will have a fantastic projection. Firstly, because they're the ones providing Carlota's route up and secondly, because she'll be the first girl to get there."

Carlota is very driven. She knows exactly what she wants and even the economic difficulties she and her family face do not stop her dream - Carlota wants to be the first woman in MotoGP.

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Carlota is on Facebook and on Instagram @csc28Carlota.


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins