Still not sure if Laia Sanz is the greatest female motorcycle racer of all time? In case you weren’t decided, Sanz added some more hardware to her trophy wall over the weekend, nailing down the 2021 FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship.
Sanz took the championship after winning Sunday’s race in France. It was her sixth championship in this series, and her first since she left enduro racing in 2017 to focus on her Dakar career. She was racing a GasGas this season, an EC 350F that was prepped and managed by the WP Eric Auge team.
It’s been a fantastic year so far for Sanz, who started with some serious struggles at the Dakar Rally, but once again finished as the top female rider (ahead of most of the men, too, including many factory riders). She overcame major health issues at the Saudi race, and then returned to her roots of true dirt bike and trials riding. She earned her fourteenth trials championship earlier this fall, also returning to that sport after a long hiatus.
Could this be the start of a new phase for Sanz’s career? After all, she is now leaving Dakar’s motorcycle category, and racing cars in that rally. Don’t be surprised if she starts racing a lot of rally events on four wheels.
Does that mean she’s leaving all motorcycle competition behind, though, as some headlines suggested? I haven’t seen a quote from her that says so, and her results in trials and enduro racing for 2021 show she’s still at the top of the competition. Maybe we’ll see her start a hybrid career, mixing in lower-risk moto racing with cars as well? Hopefully we still see her on the two-wheeled scene for years to come, as at this point, she’s still the best there is in these FIM series.