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Feb 4, 2016

​American Patricia Fernandez To Make Superbike Racing Debut At Phillip Island

Patricia Fernandez (804) in action on her ADR Yamaha YZF-R6. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

American Patricia Fernandez is planning to make her professional Superbike racing debut in the opening round of the Australian Superbike Championship February 26-28 at Phillip Island, in Australia, races that will be held in support of the FIM Superbike World Championship season-opener.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Fernandez told Roadracingworld.com Thursday. “David Anthony asked me last year if I would be interested in going to Australia to do a one-off round in Australian Superbike. Originally, we were going to go in October and do the round in support of MotoGP, but that was the same date as the [ASRA/CCS] Daytona Race of Champions. We decided to do that instead and then go to Australia in February to do the round with World Superbike.”

To this point in her career, Fernandez has raced 600cc machines, an Aussie Dave Racing (ADR) Yamaha YZF-R6, in MotoAmerica Superstock 600 and another Yamaha YZF-R6 for Magic Bullet Racing Team in the Ulster GP. But because she wants to be the first female to race in the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix and eventually to race a 1000cc machine in the Isle of Man TT, she is stepping up to establish herself as a Superbike rider.

“We tried to go race in the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix this (last) year,” said Fernandez. “The reason they said they couldn’t accept me was because I didn’t have any professional Superbike racing experience. So, we were like, ‘Let’s do it!’ Actually, Dave said it a little differently. He told me to ‘man up and grow some balls and do it.’ So of course, I was like, ‘Heck, yeah! I’ve got balls. Let’s do it.’”

Fernandez and Anthony are leaving for Melbourne, Australia, on February 5, before attending track-day events at Phillip Island on February 11-12, to help Fernandez learn the track, the bike and Pirelli tires instead of the Dunlop tires she has been racing on. But the 30-year-old who calls Tulsa, Oklahoma, home says she’s more prepared than she’s ever been for an event or season.

“One of the biggest challenges I always face as a racer is (if) I’m able to come up with enough money to do all the Pro races,” said Fernandez, “but I don’t have too much money left over to do much racing during the off-season. Normally, I would race maybe once or do a track day, but I never did much during the off-season. So when the season started up again in March it’s almost like I was starting over again compared to some riders who get to train all off-season.

“This year, between myself, Colin Edwards, Jason Pridmore and Dave Anthony, we all put together a really good training plan. This is the most I’ve ever ridden in the off-season. This is the most I’ve continually ever trained. I’ve been doing STAR schools with Jason Pridmore, I’ve done a couple of Texas Tornado Boot Camps with Colin Edwards, and I’ve taken my pedaling to a new level with a lot of mountain biking and road cycling to get myself in a racing mode. I’ve been working really hard to prepare myself not just for this one race but for the whole season.”

As for her expectations for her racing at Phillip Island, Fernandez says she’s trying to remain humble. “I know I’m going over there to do well,” said Fernandez, “but my ego is not my amigo. I’m not going over there to talk smack. There’s a lot of challenges I’m facing. New bike, new tires, new track, new country, but I’m confident as a rider that I’m going to go over there to spin some laps and have some fun and do something not everyone gets a chance to do. I mean, damn! I’m racing at Phillip Island! I can’t believe it’s actually happening.”

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