New record for motorcycle racer Lara Small on ‘big orange beast’

SMALL RIDES BIG -- Lara Small on the Ducati machine at Rockingham, where she was a guest rider.
SMALL RIDES BIG -- Lara Small on the Ducati machine at Rockingham, where she was a guest rider.
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Chesterfield motorbike racer Lara Small set a new personal-best lap-time in the latest round of the Thundersport GB 500 series at Rockingham in Corby.

Lara, a 31-year-old semi-professional in the sport, normally races her Via Moto Honda CB500, thanks to sponsorship from the motorcycle dealer of that name in the town. But at Rockingham, she was a guest rider for the Knight Road Racing Team Ducati 1198S, and made the most of a chance to hop on board a powerful 180bhp Ducati 1098S.

“She’s a big, orange beast!” exclaimed Lara, who is more used to handling her 50bhp machine. “When I opened her up on the straight, it was like being teleported from end to end!”

The PB of one minutes, 34.411 seconds came in the second of the day’s four races, which was the British Military Interservices Challenge. Lara, who is a captain with the Army’s Royal Engineers, based in Nottingham, and a member of the British Army Motorcycle Road Racing team, finished 14th of the 26 riders. She was 11th in the second military race, which was televised, and 24th and 22nd in the weekend’s two GP1 races.

Lara works as a manufacturing engineering team leader at Rolls-Royce in Derby.