German Katja Poensgen continues her comeback season in the 250cc Moto World Championship at Phakisa this weekend after joining the Dark Dog team in 2003.

German Katja Poensgen continues her comeback season in the 250cc Moto World Championship at Phakisa this weekend after joining the Dark Dog team in 2003.

She is now partnering Henk van de Lagemaat, a three-time Dutch 250cc champion. Poensgen finished 20th at Suzuka earlier this month, one place behind Van de Lagemaat. The 26-year-old is racing the latest evolution Honda 250 RSW.

The German “Racing Lady” Poensgen achieved fame when she became the first woman to gain MotoGP points in 2001. But she was forced to leave the series in 2002 when her Aprillia team ran out of funds. In 2002 she competed in a national series in Germany, racing a 1000cc Suzuki.

Her deal with Dark Dog Molenoor team is for two years and she is looking forward to learning the bike and circuits this year with the goal of qualifying for each event.

“We have a two-year strategy. In 2003 I will concentrate on qualifying and enjoying my racing. That’s what I sometimes missed in 2001. I often felt that I did more work on press conferences and interviews than racing the bikes and discussing its technical settings with my team.

"It’s now over that I was the first woman to win points in GPs, so I hope to be able to concentrate on my racing now. In 2004 I want to compete at a higher level,” said Poensgen.

The German, who is still the only female rider in 250 cc, said that the male competitors generally respected her, but she said she was often the victim of over ambitious overtaking manoeuvres from male riders who believe a girl should not beat them. Poensgen said as a result she has retired from a number of races because of “other people’s misjudgements”.

But this does not faze her. “I’m very happy and excited to be returning to grand prix this season and I believe 100 per cent in my team and in my ability,” she said.