Do blondes have more fun? That depends on your definition of fun, but Sabine Holbrook is one blonde who is certainly enjoying life to the maximum and it all revolves around her complete passion for racing. She’s dreamed of racing bikes ever since she was a teenager but studying, work and family had to take priority over the years. Now she’s determined to make up for lost time and despite only gaining her licence a few years ago, she’ll be lining up to race at the Adria International Raceway in Italy on 15 May on a BMW S 1000 RR. It will be the first round of the FIM Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship and she’s earned the right to be on the grid, thanks to some excellent performances in 2014. In this exclusive interview, the brand ambassador for BMW Motorrad Switzerland talks about living her dream as fast as she can on a new RR.
How did you get into motorsport?
I always wanted to get on a bike as a child, but my mum never allowed it, so when I was much older, I fulfilled my dream and bought my first motorcycle. I decided to participate in some ‘safety’ training and this was my first taste on a racetrack. In no time at all, I was infected with the ‘racing virus’!
Is motorcycling everything to you?
Absolutely, especially motorcycle racing, which is a completely integral part of my life! I've always been a competitive person, so this kind of sport suits me perfectly. There are so many elements vital for success in motorsport, such as the right bike, the right set-up and the team, but there’s still nothing that comes close to the adrenaline rush, the insane speed and the level of concentration you need to get that bike around the circuit as fast as you can, lap after lap with absolute precision, where every tenth of a second can be the difference between success and failure. That’s the kind of challenge I need, both mentally and physically, and racing is the only way to get it.
Have you ever been scared?
Yes, quite often, but not from racing. When I’m racing, it’s a question of respect.
So many forces have an impact on the performance, the tyres, the suspension, your physical and mental strength, and all of them have to work in harmony. This feeling is unique for motorcycle riders and once you felt it, it’s hard to beat.
You’re racing an S 1000 RR. Which other motorcycle would you like to race?
None. I am absolutely satisfied with the RR as it is one of the best 1000cc bikes. I’m lucky enough to be able to test other BMW bikes pretty often, such as the R nineT – what a great bike for the road!
What are your goals in racing?
2015 is a learning year for me, moving up to the 1000cc class and the RR with a massive 90hp power increase compared to the bike I was racing before, not to mention a grid full of talented riders, desperate to beat me. Truth is, right now I’m not even thinking about rankings for 2015 but if this season works out as planned, it would be fantastic to target the top 10 for 2016 as an achievable goal – if not the top six.
What advice can you offer other women who might like to try their hand at racing?
Ladies, do not be afraid. Work steadily and persistently on achieving your dreams. After all, if the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count any more! Just keep going until you get what you want. One of my favourite quotes is by Nelson Mandela, who said ‘The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’
What makes you happy?
Apart from racing my motorcycle, I love to spend time with my family. I also enjoy inviting friends to my home and cooking something nice for all of us. I like to go shopping like every woman, but lack of money and time means this is a rare occasion. Great memories are our last family vacation five years ago, when we went camping in the south of France. While I’m racing, holidays are impossible, but another dream of mine would be to go on an enduro trip through Latin America.
Find out more about Sabine Holbrook at www.sabine3racing.ch/ and watch her talk about her passion for life in a short film at www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkduw-KC7GI