Phil Rostron File on a very racy lady

Daily Mail - 25 May 1996

TT TIME. All four-stroke, serial carousing and death-defying antics.

It's the annual assault on the Isle of Man, with every B & B booked solid and no chance of a spare place on any ferry.

The bikers' convention. Hell's Angels Rule OK.

Hell, all right. But wait. Now we have an angel.

HIRED

Move over guys. Rome-born, Milan-based Francesca Romana Giordano is about to strut her stuff in your own backyard.

And you can cut the cat calls and the sniggering. The lady means business.

She has arrived in London, having driven a hired camper van with all that a lady needs for a fortnight away from home.

"France is very big," she observed. "I would not want a bike race the length of France. But the Isle of Man now you're talking. It's where a biker wants to be. The ultimate."

So how does a lady who looks like Francesca, take up a career as a racer when she could have done almost anything else?

Big sister Domiziana is a film star and appeared with Tom Cruise in Interview With A Vampire.

"When I was 14 I had an old Vespa. I spent all my spare time with my hand in the engine, trying to make it go faster. Friends did not remain friends for very long unless they liked mechanical things.

"At 16 I pestered my parents to allow me to study to become a mechanic, but they just laughed it off."

Then she took her Ducati bike to an open day at her local track and was hooked. Her determination led her to Italy's 125cc championships and, three years ago, she was overall fourth in the series. She has also won in Sicily.

People sat up and took notice. Now she presents a weekly biking TV programme and is president of the Associazione Difesa Moto, which represents the welfare of riders.

"The bike is beautiful and is becoming more important. Doctors, bankers and clerks use them in preference to cars and, back home, so do accident supervisors.

DISCO

"They can reach a crash scene faster. They are also a social thing."

So is our Easy Rider. "I love disco and techno but I'm a heavy metal freak," she smiles.

"While I don't have many girl friends, there is such a lack of man material that I am very single. My bike is my lover."

Francesca will race in the 400cc and 600cc Manx classes with Bill Smith Motors of Chester her tyres provided by Pirelli.

"One benefit of being a woman is that the men will help me lift my bike out of the van."

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