West Sussex-based track racer Emma Peterson switched from horses to motorcycles in 2016 and hasn’t looked back since.
Emma now competes on an EBC-equipped 2003 Yamaha R6 in the Thunderbike Sport class of the British Motorcycle Racing Club [Bemsee] championship.
She uses EBC’s GPFAX (front) and Double-H™ sintered (rear) brake pads, as well as the firm’s floating motorcycle discs.
There have already been plenty of thrills and spills over the last few years on her two-wheel journey, as she explains in her own words…
“I was something of a late starter to all this! I’ve admired bikes for many years but I didn’t have the time nor money to get involved, as I was eventing horses and also running a busy livery yard.
“After I gave up the horses, I sat on a bike for the first time when I was 41 years old. I took my full licence at the end of 2016 and started riding on the roads with friends. I wasn’t always ‘feeling it’, however. I drive HGV lorries for my job, and being on the road all day in one of the biggest vehicles out there, I felt a little vulnerable being on a bike.
“My first track day was at Brands Hatch in July 2017, and I just loved it – I certainly caught the bug! After the second one, I took the number plate off and SORN’d the bike… I haven’t been back on the roads since.
“I then did 16 track days within the next three months! I then did my ACU at the end of 2017, planning to race with Bemsee the following season. I chose to give racing a go after speaking to a few people that told me how much fun it was, and I suppose I missed the competitive side that I used to get from the horses.
“I did three race meetings in 2018 and did ok, picking up six signatures. Whilst at Brands Hatch GP on a track day practicing for the race meeting two weeks later, I had a massive off at Clearways which ended with me having two burst fractures of vertebrae T6 and T7 – the strongest part of the spine!
“I was in hospital for nine days and was very lucky not to need an operation. I was well insured and as soon as I was discharged I went for daily oxygen chamber therapy for weeks, which I’m sure accelerated the healing.
“I was back racing seven weeks later at Snetterton, where I picked up two third-place trophies! It was a nice little touch so soon after my accident, as I had been told some pretty bad news when I was in hospital… I found out I had Leukaemia. It was tough news to process at the time but it made me realise that you have to live your life to the full and do things that make you happy with the people you love.
“In 2019, I was determined to do a full season, which I did. I had many ups and downs and was struggling with confidence which turned into frustration as I felt I wasn’t improving as much as I wanted to. Towards the end of the season that changed as I reached many PBs.
“This season, I’m going to keep positive no matter how things go. I have upgraded my licence to Clubman level, and will be back in the Thunderbike Sport class with Bemsee on my R6. My dream would be to compete in the Oliver’s Mount road race… that’s my goal for 2021!”