Irene Aneas is a Press Officer for Leopard Racing, a team that is currently competing in the Moto3 World Championship, a support series for the pinnacle of motorcycle track racing: MotoGP.
As part of her job, Irene travels all over the world to ensure the team’s media runs smoothly, but she has also gained and developed an array of important skills needed to work in the fast-paced and ever-demanding motorsport industry.
Females in Motorsport sat down with Irene to talk to her about her role as a Press Officer, from her journey to Moto3 to what a day at the race track looks like with Leopard Racing.
FinM: Can you outline your role and responsibilities as a Press Officer?
Irene: My role is to be in charge of the communications of the team. As I work in Moto3, we only have one person occupying this role. This means I have to be in charge of communications, social media, and a little bit of public relations with journalists and sponsors. I have to write press releases, update social media, and have good relationships with everyone. Also, I sort the agenda of our riders and sometimes technical stuff if they have interviews.
What day-to-day tasks do you do on race weekends?
I arrive at the track and if there’s a scheduled interview, I have to make sure the rider goes and I go with him. I listen to the interviews to make sure everything is okay. Also, I take photos and videos for social media. I talk to other journalists and I pay attention to what they say about us. I also pay attention to what the rider and people around us say about the team. At the end of the day, I write the press releases. I also have a really close relationship with our photographers, just to make sure that we have the best footage possible.
How much do you travel? What are your favourite race tracks?
I go to every single race of the season. That means my average number of flights is 70! My favourite race track is Motegi in Japan because it is like going to a very different place, like another reality.
What skills do you need to be a Press Officer?
You need to have a lot of communication skills and you need to be a very open-minded person. You have to be very patient and need to be resilient. You have to love talking and dealing with people. You need to have a very calm character; you can’t get into fights with riders, for example, but you need to be harsh and also very straightforward.
What soft skills do you need to work with athletes? How do you manage the riders after a bad race?
In terms of soft skills, I believe you have to understand that behind every rider there is a young person. When someone is so young but is used to being famous and being in the spotlight, sometimes you need to remember that you are talking to someone very naive or someone very sensitive. From the beginning of the season, I try to get to know new riders as well as I can so then when there’s a bad situation, I can understand what they’re feeling. Maybe you don’t have to ask in the future as you will know immediately what he is feeling.
What has been your journey to where you are today?
My journey has been super long - I am so proud of it but it hasn’t been easy and I really had to work my ass off to be where I am.
I started selling MotoGP merchandise when I was 19. Then, I worked simultaneously as a translator and journalist. This is going to be my fourth season as a press officer. Since I was 19, I really knew what I wanted to do, so I did two seasons selling merchandise, travelling around Europe, sleeping at race tracks in a tent, then four years as an interpreter and journalist.
Do you think it’s necessary to go to university for your role?
It’s very important to go to university because it gives you the skills and the knowledge to be well prepared. Of course, it’s important to be at the race track and it’s important to know a lot of people, but having good and qualified preparation is the key to opening the rest of the doors.
What are your favourite racing memories?
Being at Phillip Island and winning the championship in 2019 with Lorenzo Dalla Porta. It was my first year as a Press Officer, so sharing that moment with the team and being part of a team that had won the championship at that moment was something incredible that I will never forget. A crown is always a crown. That was my favourite memory.
That whole year was absolutely incredible because we won the championship with Lorenzo and our second rider finished third in the standings.
The 2022 Moto3 Championship officially begins at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar in March, with official tests running throughout February.
Irene will be working alongside Leopard Racing’s two riders - Dennis Foggia and Tatsuki Suzuki - and the rest of the team throughout 2022. You can keep up to date with her adventures in Moto3 as she travels the world by following her on Instagram. Also, you can follow Leopard Racing on Instagram and Twitter to show your support this season!