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Dustin Wheelen

Kayla Yaakov Becomes First Woman To Win MotoAmerica Race

Female representation in motorcycle racing has vastly improved over the years. With top-10 Dakar finisher Laia Sanz, MotoE rider Maria Herrera, and Supersport 300 World Champion Ana Carrasco taking it to the boys at the highest level, more and more girls are taking to racing.

One such rider is MotoAmerica Junior Cup competitor Kayla Yaakov, and the 15-year-old rider just claimed the first victory for a female in the MotoAmerica series. Yaakov started the race weekend at Shelton, Washington’s Ridge Motorsports Park by celebrating her 15th birthday on Friday, June 24, 2022. The Kawasaki rider kept the good times rolling by securing third place in Race 1 before rewriting the MotoAmerica record books with a Race 2 victory.

“Since Atlanta, it’s been a big thing, even before Atlanta, even before I started really racing, this is where I wanted to be.” admitted Yaakov. “To do it is really cool. This is crazy. It’s actually really cool to be up here with these guys because I’ve raced with them both. We all started around the same time, and it’s really cool.”

Yaakov’s race-winning performance was no flash in the pan either. The Altus Motorsports rider racked up four podium finishes throughout the season with third-place finishes at Road Atlanta, Road America, and The Ridge. Number 31’s Race 2 results boost her to fourth in the Junior Cup Rider’s Championship standings, just eight points adrift of series leader Gus Rodio.

With five rounds left on the 2022 MotoAmerica calendar, the title is still up for grabs. Yaakov hopes to take her momentum into the next stop at California’s legendary Laguna Seca Raceway, where her biggest hero cemented his MotoGP legacy. 

“Obviously, Ana Carrasco and Maria Herrera and Melissa Paris and Elena Myers, but for me it’s always been Nicky Hayden. I live by a lot of his mottos,” added Yaakov.

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