Interview: ‘America’s Queen of Speed’ Valerie Thompson shares her insights.

 Interview: ‘America’s Queen of Speed’ Valerie Thompson shares her insights.

Introduction : Valerie is the “World’s Fastest Female Motorcycle Racer” and an eight-time land speed record holder with membership in the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, seven 200 MPH Clubs and one 300 MPH Club.

In 2018, she piloted the famed BUB 7 Streamliner to a record speed of 328.467 mph (528.616 km/h) and is the only female rider featured on the “World’s Top 10 Fastest Motorcycle Riders” list. She was recently included on the Dealernews “Top 100 Leaders in Powersports” list.  

We have been fortunate enough to get Valerie’s time as she shares her crucial insights and experience with LivingWithGravity.

1. You have been riding all types of motorcycles like BMW S1000 RR, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson V-Rod Destroyer, and land speed racing streamliners. Which among them you like the most is there any motorcycle that is close to your heart?
Valerie :  This is a difficult question because I have two! I have been fortunate to race many bikes and each one has a different meaning! The bike closest to my heart is the BUB 7 Streamliner designed by AMA Hall of Fame member, Denis Manning, John Jans (Machinist/ Builder/Team Owner) and Joe Harralson (Engine Designer/Team Owner).

I set a record of 328.467 mph last year in Australia in the BUB 7. The other one is my BMW S 1000 RR which I went 217 mph in a one-mile stop standing the course. 

We made quite a few modifications to the BMW, so it was a real thrill to blast off the starting line! 

2. How does it feel to go up to 328.467 mph and what is your next aim?
Valerie:Land-speed racing is one of the most exciting and purest types of motorcycling competitions in the world. At 328.467 mph… it’s a mixture of emotions and adrenaline rush and impossible to describe in mere words. 

 I hate to be greedy and ask for a better season, but I suspect 2019 – 2020 will be the year we go faster than 328.467mph in the BUB 7!  

 In addition to pursuing the fastest motorcycle title of 376.363 mph, I am assuming driving duties for the Treit & Davenport Target 550 Streamliner this year with the goal of breaking the current conventional wheel-driven, piston-powered automobile FIA class speed record of 417.020 mph. 

3. How do you keep yourself fit and focused?
Valerie :
I am in the gym weekly to maximize my upper and lower body strength with a professional trainer. I love to cook so I follow a weekly meal plan.

My top priority is building self-confidence which I find comes from practice, fitness, and visualization. It allows me to go to the starting line without worrying about any other competitor!

4. What are a few pointers that one should remember while riding a Land Speed Motorcycle?
Valerie : Always remember the word CHAMPION is an acronym for Courage, Honor, Attitude, Motivation, Perseverance, Integrity, Optimistic, Never give up! 

5. What goes on in your mind when you enter the Land Speed Motorcycle?
Valerie : 
Our passion for speed is something very few get to experience in their lifetime. When I put on that helmet…I am excited, anxious, nervous and my mind is 100%in race mode! I’m so glad my helmet hides my feelings. When I’m on the starting line, time slows to a crawl and I feel every heartbeat. 

6. Your contribution to this field is immense. What advice would you like to give to someone who would like to enter this field?
Valerie:
The life of a professional motorcycle racer is tough, unforgiving and downright dangerous – a life where the even smallest mistake can result in paying the ultimate price. Follow your heart, buy the best equipment you can and don’t skimp on safety gear. Get as much seat time as you can and never be afraid to ask for help.

7. How do I see Valerie 5 years down the line?
Valerie:
I see my new title as Valerie Thompson – The Fastest person on two wheels and the fastest female in my class on four wheels at the Bonneville Salt Flats! I hope to achieve goals in the next 24 months.

8. What are your leisure activities if you are not racing?
Valerie :
I love to cook, spoil my three dogs and enjoy time with friends and family! My husband and I share a real passion for traveling; we can’t wait to get back to London after our most recent visit.

9. Tell me about the upcoming film documentary about your quest to capture the world’s fastest motorcycle title.
Valerie : Filmed entirely in stunning 5K for maximum theatrical impact, “Rockets and Titans” is scheduled for late 2019 worldwide premiere. The documentary is an incredible, cross-continental story with strong social significancethat will encourage and inspire everyone, especially young women to chase their dreams.

Covering the land speed race of the century, it’s a story that packs a powerful message of passion, ambition, and determination. In movie terms, think “World’s Fastest Indian” meets “The Right Stuff.”

Awards and Accolades

  • Featured in “Rockets and Titans” upcoming film documentary – 2019
  • Only female racer on “World’s Top 10 Fastest Motorcycle Riders” list – 2019
  • Named one of “Top 100 Leaders in Powersports” (Dealernews) – 2019
  • Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame Inductee – 2018
  • First female member of Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA) 300 MPH Motorcycle Club – 2018
  • Recipient of DLRA “Fastest Lady on the Lake Award” (328.467 mph) – 2018
  • First female appointee to Bonneville 200 MPH Club Board of Directors – 2017
  • Recipient of “Top Speed Award” at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials (304.263 mph) – 2016
  • Beads of Courage Celebrity Ambassador
  • Award winning rock band, CTS Inspired song “Quarter Mile”
  • Texas Mile “Most Runs Over 200 MPH” Award – 2014
  • Recipient of American Woman Riders Association Community Hero Award
  • Recipient of Red-Carpet Award by Delores Seright, author of Amazing Women “Shattering Barriers”
  • Guest Celebrity Rider/Speaker for International Female Ride Day – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

See Also

Top Gun Then and Now
Is Elon Musk planning to build electric motorcycle?
Battle of Britain and Rise of Triumph


Source : Valerie Thompson 

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