Jenny Ruokolainen will be 17-years-old in April and is currently the sole female entry in the FIM CEV Repsol European Talent Cup in 2019.

Although she was born in Santa Barbara in the USA she is a Finnish national and now lives in the second largest city in Finland, Espoo. She is not the only motorsports personality of this city. It is also the birthplace of Formula One World Champion, and ice cream loving, Kimi Räikkönen.

She became interested in bikes whilst watching her father on various trackdays. Jenny Ruokolainen progressed through minibikes before an accident in 2016 could have brought her career to an early end.

It was a difficult season for the Finnish racer. She had a mechanic problem in one race that caused her to crash. She said, ” I don’t remember anything about the crash. It was at about 140 kph and my engine broke. I hit my head. I was banned from riding for eight weeks.”

In fact, she went on to tell me couldn’t do anything that might cause vibrations. No theme parks, no jogging…

Double Champion

Thankfully, it wasn’t lasting because she won the Finnish Moriwaki Cup in 2017 and 2018 and also made it to the Red Bull Rookies selection event in 2017. Now she is going to compete in the European Talent Cup 2019.

The series has become increasingly popular and it is seen as the place to be to further your career. This year, with over 60 riders already registered the organisers have had to restructure the competition.  

Ruokolainen went to the BSB Pro-Test at Cartagena. She had previously spent time at the Circuit de la Ribera and always passes a month every preseason in Spain. Track time is limited by the climate in Finland. There the season usually runs from May to the end of August.

Her father, Janne Ruokolainen, has always been the mechanic. The team put in a lot of hours to make the bikes just right as you can see in the video below on YouTube.

Ruokolainen will ride under the colours of Track Punk Racing in the European Talent Cup for 2019.

In January she rode a 600cc and when I asked her if she intended to move onto this size of motorcycle she told me, “It was just for fun. I don’t think I will race on a 600cc yet. At the moment I like Moto3 bikes but maybe in the future.”

Goals for 2019

I asked Roukolainen what her hopes were in the European Talent Cup 2019. She responded, “It is really hard to say. I haven’t raced abroad before so I don’t know. The European Talent Cup is a very high level. For example, at Estoril it will be really hard for me because the track is new to me so we will have to see.”

Jenny Ruokolainen european talent cup 2019
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Jenny Ruokolainen european talent cup 2019
Jenny Roukilainen is the only female rider in the european talent cup 2019