PV woman first female to compete for fastest motorcycle racer in the world

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

“My nickname is America’s Queen of Speed!”

Valerie Thompson isn’t just any motorcycle rider.

“I am the first woman to compete for the world record, yes,” said Thompson.

The Paradise Valley local, currently the fastest female motorcycle racer in the world, is now getting ready to fly to Australia for the Lake Gairdner World Speed Trials, to break the all-time race record of 376.36 miles per hour.

Thompson started racing 12 years ago after life gave her an unexpected detour.

“I had been laid off and I got to working at the Harley Davidson dealership,” said Thompson.

In 2016, she hit 304 miles per hour, which made her the first woman to ever race over 300.  

“It’s just pure concentration. You’re focused,” said Thompson.

Now she’s hoping to not only break that 2010 race record, but to inspire other young women to break into a male-dominated sport, and live life in the fast lane.

“Four wheels...I always say they slow me down!” said Thompson.

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Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

Click to learn more about Briana.

Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMA awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

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