Tone up! Myers explains racing as “the most intense full-body workout you’ve ever done.”
In March of 2012, at the tender age of 18, Elena Myers made racing history by becoming the first woman to win a professional motorsports race of any kind at the Daytona International Speedway—and she did it on a motorcycle beating a field of men. This milestone—a record that still stands today—was preceded by a win in her rookie year as the first female to win the American Motorcycle Association Pro Road Racing series at the Infineon Raceway in the Pro SuperSport division. It’s become a bit of a pattern for her—breaking ground and shattering barriers in this male-dominated sport.
This pint-size California native, who now calls Taylorsville, Ga., home, has proven to be a tough and resilient competitor. As the only female in the AMA’s premier SuperBike class, it seems she has to be. This elite group of about a dozen is the creme de la creme of the motorbike racing world. A motorcycle rider since age 8, Myers started in parking lots, then graduated to a go-kart track where her dad was able to organize a Motorcycle Club. She grew up racing against the top boys in the country, honing her skills and working to squash any feelings of fear. Now she flies around the track at speeds approaching 200 miles per hour. “[The fear] is there, but I’ve been doing this for so long that it doesn’t really factor in,” she says.
Since debuting as a pro rider at 16, Myers has steadily climbed her way through the ranks, initially racing as part of a team. This year, she started her own—Team 21 Motosport—landing impressive sponsorships from McGraw Powersports, Arai Helmets, Alpinestars and Spiegler, among others. Plans to branch out with other drivers and amp up merchandizing efforts as her team grows are on the horizon. As for her winning wheels? She’s currently riding solo on a Suzuki bike stripped down to the frame and custom built for her with top of the line tech, the ultimate engine and specialty suspension. While she’s encountering what she describes as “learning curves” along the way, Myers remains confident in her decision to forge her own path.
What’s next for this budding motorsport mogul? “This sport is a numbers game—only the top one-half percent can do what we do as professionals,” explains the 21-year-old. “The opportunity [for women to ride has] not really been there, and I would like to be able to mentor younger girls to enable them to rise through the ranks.” The caveat? “I don’t want to be beat—especially by a girl!” Catch Myers in action when she kicks off the MotoAmerica season competing in the Superbike class at Road Atlanta, April 17 to 19. @elenamyers21