Girl biker is moving ahead of boy racers

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A local bike racer is showing the boys how to win by sitting fourth in the Lightweight Class of the Knockhill Championships and near the top of the Scottish Champs.

Ashley Robson (17) who lives in Johnshaven but works in Roo’s Leap, Montrose, has climbed to the top of the rankings in the highly competitive 400cc to 650cc class.

She is one of only seven girls on the bike racing circuit out of at least 200 boys who all compete together. She said: “Every second weekend I head down to Knockhill or Haddington in East Lothian. As soon as I’m on the bike and waiting for the start of the race my legs start twitching with adrenalin.”

Ashley is a quiet, level headed girl with long red hair which she stuffs into her helmet for the races. She reaches incredible speeds of 130 miles per hour on the long straights at Knockhill in grid races of 32 riders to win 
countless trophies.

Her mother, Hazel Robson, said: “People say it’s dangerous to let my girl compete on bikes at such high speeds and of course most girls Ashley’s age go straight to horse riding. After all they say bikes are for boys, horses are for girls but riding is in fact much more dangerous.”

Last weekend during a race, Ashley clipped the bike of a slower competitor she was lapping and came off on a bend. She made light of the fall, dismissing the bruising on her arm. “If I fall off I just relax and go with the motion, there’s not much you can do in those situations.”

Affectionately named Doofus after her clumsiness at home, she has several sponsors who provide her with equipment and goods. The bike she is riding this season is from her sponsor Dontay Contracts Ltd. Ashley is also sponsored by Panda Rosa, Steven McGuire Transport and Scottish Photosport.

Ashley is still at Mearns Academy where she is studying, amongst other subjects, advanced design and manufacture. She said that at the end of this competition season in October, she will build another 400 bike from a chassis she owns. She is also a mechanic but will be helped by her father, Lee, who works hard to pay for this expensive hobby. Ashley said: “I need to know the workings of the bike, mechanical knowledge is essential if any adjustments need to be done during a race, you need to know what is wrong to correct it.”

She thinks she will continue in the 400 class next year until she wins it, which she is certain she will. Her confidence is high and this weekend she will head to East Fortune in East Lothian for another 400 race which she hopes to win.