In September, at Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragón, Maria Herrera made a historical wildcard entrance in the Moto3 World Championship. Maria is currently racing in the MotoE World Cup, and she has previously raced full-time in the Moto3 World Championship between 2015 and 2017. This time, her wildcard was special because she was supported by an all-female crew. We had the opportunity to interview Aurora Angelucci, the brain behind this wildcard entry, Founder and CEO of Angeluss – Women Sport Management. Here is Aurora’s story with motorsport.
© All photos provided by Aurora Angelucci
Aurora Angelucci’s entanglement with motorsport was love at first sight. Through her father, she fell in love with motorsport as a fan from a young age. “I discovered my passion thanks to my father. He has always followed the races since I was young. One day he decided to take me and my mother with him to see a race at the track. It was love at first sight for me.”
As a fan growing up watching the sport, it was not difficult for Aurora to see the problem in the paddock and on the starting grid – the lack of women. Determined to make changes in the sport she’s passionate about, Aurora built Angeluss – Women Sport Management with the help of her family, aiming at supporting young and talented women in the world of two wheels. ‘Women in the world of two wheels’ means Aurora does not only focus on the rider, but all aspects of the paddock. “In MotoGP, there are many roles that many people don’t even know exist. It’s not just the riders and their bikes. I wanted to change all existing realities.”
However, changing the status quo is never easy, otherwise, it probably would’ve been done already. “I looked for a way to enter this world, having a lot of doors shut in my face and being blocked several times on social media. It was very difficult and it still is, but now we are also having a lot of successes and the support of many people even in this world.”
With Aurora’s persistence despite the difficulties, some collaborations with teams in the World Championship came to fruition. In March 2022, at the beginning of the 2022 MotoGP season, Angeluss became the title sponsor of Moto3 team MTA Racing. This is a key step towards Maria Herrera’s history-making wildcard at Aragón. “The collaboration with MTA was born with the aim of giving the girls the opportunity to demonstrate their talent. During the wildcard at Aragón, MTA gave us the opportunity to apply, and the technical material to make it possible.”
Having MTA’s support for the wildcard in their pocket, the most important thing then is to put together the actual team. The star of the team – the rider, and the crew who would work on the machine. Choosing Maria as the star is almost a no-brainer. As one of the instructors at RFME’s girls camp and one of the two riders currently competing in the World Championship (along with World SSP300 Champion Ana Carrasco), Maria has been an advocate for women in motorsport for years. “Maria really liked our goal and our project. We chose Maria because, in addition to having already competed in Moto3 before and therefore being ready to compete in the race, she has already worked with some girls in Spain and has been supporting our project. She is the perfect rider to represent us and the ideals we both have.”
Being an innovative project that no one has ever done before, there is no readily available rule of what you need to do. You have to try and see what works and what doesn’t.
Finding the rider is easy. Choosing the crew, not so much, especially when they only have a short period of time to work together. “There are a lot of women able to work in the World Championship, especially in Moto3. There are many women who work in the lower categories and know enough about the bikes to be able to work in the World Championship. We received many applications from girls who want to work on the wildcard and the real difficulty was choosing among the many resumes. Some were chosen because we knew of their experience both in the World Championship and in the other championships. Others were chosen among the curricula that they sent to us. The crew met for the first time at the Aragón test in August. One of the biggest challenges is to make the team work well together in such a short time.”
Stepping on the history-making achievement, Aurora’s endgame in MotoGP is far beyond one appearance in Moto3. Her goal is to have an all-female MotoGP team one day. For this goal, she is already laying the groundwork. “The wildcard is an important step into building our future and toward our goal as a company to have a completely female team in MotoGP. Becoming the official partner of WithU RNF MotoGP Team helps us understand how a MotoGP team works and get an idea about the future. This is the correct path towards an all-female team in MotoGP.”
Having her eyes on MotoGP, Aurora has not forgotten about where everything came from – the lower categories. “From next year Angeluss will invest much more in the lower categories and in the path of small girls getting through to more advanced championships. We always continue to work on taking more and more steps forward to reach the goal.”
Aurora already accomplished what has never been done before. Now she heads towards her next seemingly impossible goal. We wish her and Angeluss – Women Sport Management all the best of luck in making MotoGP a better sport.