Sandboxes, soccer practice, playing dress-up, or perhaps early musical education: hobbies that would light up many children's eyes that didn't spark jumps of enthusiasm in Sarah Göpfert, who was once eight years old. She had her sights set on a completely different pastime, because at the latest when she watched MotoGP on TV with her grandfather in 2006, it was clear that her path should lead her to the racetrack. "It all started with a taster training session, then I started quite quickly with one or two regular training sessions per week. For this I got a pocket bike, which is virtually a motorcycle in miniature format. 50 centimeters high and a maximum speed of 100 km/h," recalls Göpfert. Her parents have always supported their daughter's unusual choice of hobby, despite initial concerns.
Man's world racetrack – women are still rarely active there
In the meantime, the pocket bike has become a motorcycle with 320 cubic centimeters of displacement, 42 horsepower and a maximum speed of 200 km/h. That's what Sarah Göpfert, now 23, is riding with 19 fellow competitors. A fellow competitor in the Yamaha R3 Cup. "You can compare it more or less with the league in soccer," explains the female motorsport athlete. "We all ride the same vehicle to ensure equality of opportunity." Currently things are going more than well for Sarah. At its last competition in Schleiz, Thuringia, on 24. And 25. July 2021, she took first place in two competitions. And 4. Place. This puts it within reach of its self-imposed goal of making it into the top 5 this season. "I must say: It was a fantastic feeling, especially since for the first time again spectators could be present. There came 30.000 people."
To be able to convince on the race track between the mostly male competitors, Sarah trains hard – not only on the slope, but also in the gym. "On the bike every gram counts, that's why I'm currently concentrating on endurance sports. But you also need a lot of strength to put yourself and your motorcycle into the curves and always keep control of the racing machine." Another plus: "The better my physical fitness, the clearer my mind." Because the races are not only about speed. "You have to be able to concentrate 100 percent and think ahead. I always keep a close eye on what strategy my competitors are pursuing and plan accordingly how I can overtake them and where," says Sarah Göpfert.
Your diligence pays off. Sarah Göpfert is naturally accepted by her male colleagues, even though as a young woman she is still a rarity in motorsport: "I try to gain respect through training and skill and to give the guys a good run for their money."
Economy and sport? Two careers that don't have to exclude each other
Despite passion and talent, it wasn't at all certain until about a year ago that Sarah Goepfert's path would lead her back to the racetrack. "In 2017 I rode my last race for the time being, in 2018 and 2019 I was virtually not on the bike at all," says the student. "I wanted to fully concentrate on one thing in my bachelor's degree program 'economics. In the master, however, I started motoring again. I was missing that one."
In the two semesters of her master's degree in "Value Chain Management" so far, a career plan has matured in Sarah Göpfert as to how she can combine her passion for engines with her academic skills – because she has always benefited from them. "Business and sports go very, very well together," the student is convinced. "I have always benefited from my studies. For example, all the knowledge of 'marketing' came in handy with my sponsorship acquisition."
Currently, the young woman writes for the motorcycle magazine "Speedweek" in addition to her studies. "I like the writing very much. Maybe I can follow this up in the future."Until then Sarah is concentrating on the last two semesters and the upcoming races. Your sporting goal: "Next year I would like to compete in the International German Championship. The biggest challenge in this project is currently still the financing.". Of course she would like to finish her studies with a good result as well."And of course she would like to finish her studies with a good result.
(Author: Isabel Möller)
– , Students
– , Center for Sport and Health Promotion
All "Uni-aktuell" articles
Note: The TU Chemnitz is present in many media. An impression of how they report on the university is given by the media review.