I have been like Ana Carrasco or Maria Herrera but Sharni Lee Pinford retires from the world of motorcycling and does not hesitate to label machismo as one of the reasons for her resignation. This 25-year-old Australian emigrated to Europe to live off racing on two wheels. She participated in the British Moto3 Championship in two seasons one of which was eleventh and the other twelfth in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, she even jumped into the Supersport 300 World Championship. It was with the team of former rider Jakub Smrz in Magny Cours as a guest but he did not qualify for the races. Despite everything, the Dutch team IDM wanted to sign her to race in that same contest in 2021. Everything seemed on track, but she backed down at the last moment. Now, on Facebook, he explains his reasons and announces his withdrawal.
This is his message: This post is to announce the decision I have made to move away from the motor world. This decision has not come lightly although it is the one that comes from my heart. From the beginning of my career, I had decided to give him one hundred percent knowing that by the end of it the only option is to be sure that I did everything I could have. My father passed away just before I started running. This meant that everything that I have done has been solely on my own without guidance or support. Coming from a place without financial or personal support meant that I made my career come true with sheer determination and sacrifice, which led me to depend on other people. This approach meant many lessons with trial and error, as you can imagine many lessons were learned the hard way, trying to find the best direction to move in this sport.
My full-time career took off like lightning in 2017, where I first moved out of the family to work for one of my sponsors to keep racing. From this moment on, I took the will to compete as not only something I can do and enjoy on the weekend but something that I experienced every moment of every day for the next three years. Every action, every decision was made based on favoring my career. Since then, I’ve sold everything I had, bought a one-way ticket to the other side of the world, and worked full time without pay to continue. I have sacrificed many things, my happiness, my lifestyle my family, my mental health, and my physical health.
I felt that racing was the only meaning I had for my life, so it felt like a small price to pay at the time. Throughout my motorsport journey, I have experienced and been exposed to many challenges, some of which I find difficult to speak of. Most of the challenges that I have faced have been based on disrespect and derogatory treatment of women. Things that I know I never would have had to experience or be exposed to if I had been a man. There comes a point where you say enough, and I feel like I’ve reached that point. I feel like I no longer want to be exposed to this behavior or treated this way. This saddens me deeply.
It saddens me deeply to look at the challenges of my own journey and to recognize the fact that women who dedicate their lives to pursuing their dreams are being exposed to this and are being treated this way. This has been the main factor contributing to my decision to walk away. I can say that I have really given everything I have had to be successful in this sport, and with this, I have been able to witness what is truly possible when you put your focus on something and go after it one hundred percent. After reaching my lowest point, this led me to focus my energy on healing myself. and understand the psychology of the human brain. With this, I have been able to understand the motivations behind the things we do and the things we believe.
I have found it really surprising to realize the power of our beliefs and the motives behind the paths we decide to take. There is always a deeper meaning to the things we do, and the things we believe. Until you become aware of these underlying factors, it is difficult for us to be able to create and experience the life we truly want to live and fulfill our ultimate purpose for which we are here. We all have limitations, but it is you who decides if you keep them or not. My love for the sport continues and I’m not sure what the future holds. I am very proud of what I have achieved in this sport, and I feel it is a shame that I have not yet been able to fulfill my full potential.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me, provided opportunities for me and the friends I have met along the way. I hope that from my journey I can help and encourage others to know that they are worthy of all that they wish for. My wish for others is to know that no one has the right to make you feel unworthy or uncomfortable or that you should reject anything that doesn’t feel good about you. Your intuition is the most reliable guide we have and the answers we seek are within us. You are stronger than you think and you are capable of more than you think.