By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
BRITISH-BORN Calvia Councilor Kate Mentink's dream is going to come true next month at the British Motorcycle Grand Prix at Donnington Park.
Mentink, a biker and motorcycle racing fan herself, is going to be treated to two laps round the track on the back of the Ducati with which Casey Stoner won last year's MotoGP World Championship.

However, apart from being a once in a life time opportunity for any motorcycle fan and extremely dangerous, the 500cc Ducati will reach speeds of up to 320 km/h, the ride is in aid of the Riders for Health charity.

Riders for Health is an international nonprofit organisation that is providing health-care to rural African villages using motorcycles. By providing health-care door-to-door, the organisation is hoping to help fight the spread of AIDS. The project has resulted in reducing the disease and illnesses by getting patients much-needed medicine. The charity was set up with the help of the American motor racing legend Randy Mamola who is now a top MotoGP commentator and it is he who will be driving Mentink round Donnington park.

The fund raising ride is held on the day before all European GP's and every euro goes to Riders for Health.
Some people have paid tens of thousands of euros for the privilege while motor sports greats like Michael Schumacher have perched themselves on the back of a world championship winning 500cc motorbike for the charity. “The waiting list is vast and I put my name down years ago,” Mentink said. “To be honest,. I'd forgotten all about it and out of the blue I got a call from the organisers asking if I was still up for it. “It's a dream come true but I'm having to get in shape. I'm exercising every morning and building up the strength in my legs and forearms. The only alterations they make to the bike is they put a tiny seat right on the back and two small handles on the fuel tank for me to hold on to. “We're not allowed to hold on to the rider, so we have to use all our physical strength and balance to stay on the back at speed of over 300 km/h,” Mentink explained. “Prior to the run, I have to undergo a medical and also have to be under a certain height and weight. The first run is a test run and, providing I'm comfortable, Randy will open her up and it will be flat out for the second lap round the circuit,” Mentink said.

The Calvia-councillor, who owns a Yamaha 1.300cc which she and husband Dave use for touring and going to the GPs in Spain, now has until June 21 to raise funds to pay for the ride, “the more the better for the charity”, and get in shape for the ride of her life.