Elisa Galvagno, 19, from Siena, Italy has been racing in motocross since she was five-years-old - a passion born following her father on weekends in the Tuscan hills. A love born from fun which soon turned into winning three Italian championships. This is a story that teaches us how talent combined with experience and hard work leads to great results, despite barriers and difficulties along the way.
We all have a dream and a passion that makes our hearts beat faster. For Elisa Galvagno, it’s motocross. At the age of five, she got on a motorbike for the first time and understood that racing would be her life. From that moment, the dream was born.
“The passion for motocross was born thanks to my dad,” she tells Females in Motorsport. “He practised motocross for fun in the Tuscan hills during weekends and I was always at the track with him.
“To get to the Italian championship and to the WMX World Championship, there are no precise steps to follow. I started competing at the age of eight and I ran in the UISP Championship and in the Regional Championship.
“Over time, thanks to the experience I gained in the minor categories - and above all thanks to the results I achieved - I had the opportunity to race in the higher level championships.”
In 2017, at 13, she started her adventure in the Italian Women's Championship Under 17 category, becoming the youngest motocross champion in Italy.
“My experience was very positive,” she says. “I have been participating in this championship since 2016, and seeing the level grow over the years has been really lovely.
“At first, I was the youngest on track and being there together with the better drivers close to the podium and with a less competitive motorbike than the others, was even more beautiful to me.
“Now, I’m satisfied with what I’ve done because today I can say that I’m one of the best drivers in Italy.”
In 2019, she began her journey in the WMX World Championship with the desire to emerge on a global level too.
“I was 15-years-old when I arrived at the World Championship and it was just as beautiful as the Italian Championship, even If I suffered a little from anxiety,” she says. “During my first race in the Czech Republic, I started leading and kept the first position for more than a lap. I had tears under my helmet…”
The world of motorsport seems unreachable compared to other sports. There are many accessibility problems and many barriers that a young driver has to overcome.
“Unfortunately or fortunately, you need a lot of money,” Elisa says. “I have always tried to give my best and I was able to get sponsors who believe in me and who still help me today. Without their help, but above all without the support of my dad, it would’ve been impossible to become a professional racing driver.
“An advice I want to give to a girl who dreams of racing in motocross is to buy a motorcycle and start practising because it's the most beautiful sport. I can’t describe the fantastic sensation when we’re in the air during a jump…an unbelievable feeling.”
For Elisa, 2023 has just begun with great opportunities.
“My next goals are very simple,” she says. “I don't want to think about positions to reach because up to now it hasn't brought me much luck. The main goal is to have fun and achieve important results at an international level.”
All images are courtesy of Elisa.