From riding in fields to taking on the world

Alyssia (Lissy) Whitmore’s first memories of motorcycles involved riding a 50cc dirt bike around a field owned by her father’s friend at only eight years old. This early experience sparked a lifelong passion for motorcycling. Her first bike, an IMR140 Pitbike, marked a significant departure from her previous pastime of playing football. The thrill of her initial ride on this bike set the stage for her future in competitive racing.

Her formal racing journey began in 2017 at the age of 12, in the British Mini Bikes. Despite financial constraints, she managed to complete half a season, which set the foundation for her future endeavours. In 2018, she pursued a full season in the same series, and by 2019, she had obtained her ACU licence following the British Talent Cup tryouts. This led to a season on a KTMRC390 and eventually to racing a Yamaha R3. Although an accident in 2021 set her back, she rebounded to complete a full season in the British Superbikes with OMG Racing in 2022. In 2023, she competed in England’s only road race Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, and now, in 2024, she races for Sekhmet Racing in the WorldWCR. 

Earlier Ambitions

When in college in the UK, Lissy did Public Service in order to prepare her for her goal of joining the Royal Air Force. Due to medical reasons, she couldn’t make it into the military, after which she had to look for work. With her goals now shifted to giving it her all at the race track, she specifically chose jobs with schedules that would allow her to pursue her racing career.

Inspiration and Motivation

Her father’s influence, coupled with the thrill of mini bike racing, cemented her dedication to the sport. “I never really chose bike racing, it chose me,” Lissy tells us. She never imagined she would be racing at such a high level, but her passion and perseverance have driven her success.

While her father was enthusiastic about her racing career, her mother needed some convincing. Ultimately, her family’s support and pride have been unwavering, playing a crucial role in her journey.

She feels a deep sense of gratefulness and honour in representing her country on the world stage. Being part of a championship that holds significant promise for the future of women in motorcycling is a matter of immense pride for her.

Lissy has a dream… to ride the Isle of Man TT someday:

“It’s a dream with a plan that will come soon. It’s not something that we are focusing on at the minute, but it is a dream. I started on the pit bikes, then when I got to the big bikes I just gravitated towards people who were road racers and had done the TT. So it rubbed off on me and it’s something that is different. It looks exciting, I don’t know how to describe it. I just love the idea of it, the commitment. It’s strong.”

Lissy on her #34 Kevin Schwantz-inspired race number:

“When I was growing up I watched MotoGP with my dad all the time and he always used to tell me that his favourite rider was Kevin Schwantz, because apparently Valentino Rossi’s favourite rider was Kevin Schwantz. Then when I started racing I was trying to pick a race number, it was between #55 and #34, because of Kevin Schwantz and 55 because it was Li55y. I was like, every person I saw has already done that with their name and number. So I thought, I’m going to do #34, because not a lot of kids appreciate and understand the older style MotoGP, the 500s and the 250s.” 

Lissy answers… our quickfire questions:

Who is the female athlete that inspires you the most?
“My motorcycling female inspiration is Jenny Tinmouth, outside of racing I would have to say Ellie Simmonds, the Paralympic swimmer. Both for their determination to succeed.”

How do you prepare for races?
“I listen to music, breathe deep and just try to get into a ready headspace.”

What is your goal for this season?
“My goal is to just make some really good progress, have a lot of fun and really take on some great experiences.”

What advice would you give to young girls who aspire to compete at the highest level in riding?:
“No matter how much you think you can’t do it, you can!” 

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