Emily Solano

Emily Solano

Bike: Honda Crf 150rb

Competition Schedule: January 20-22 Primm, NV WORCS; February 10-12 Delano, CA WORCS; March 10-12 Lake Havasu, AZ WORCS; April 7-9 Blythe, CA WORCS; May 5-7 Devore, CA WORCS; May 26-28 Cedar City, UT WORCS

1. When did you first become interested in riding dirt bikes? What or who influenced your involvement?

I watched my brother, Kaleb, and Gavin Baker ride and race for over a year before I grew an interest. I involved myself a lot with them and tried to help them as much as I could by recording lap times and videos. Watching them race and practice all the time made me start wanting to learn what the hype was about. Once I got on a bike, I absolutely loved it!

2. When did you begin participating? How has your involvement evolved?

I started competing in November 2019. I raced girls 12-15 for the first time at the Primm, NV WORCS race and have stuck with the series since then.

3. What do you love most about racing dirt bikes?

I love the adrenaline you get during a race or practice. Once you get that adrenaline pumping, you forget about everything else and all that matters is that moment.

4. If you had to describe riding in 5 words or less, how would you describe it?

I would describe dirt bike racing/riding as “the best sport out there”.

5. What is it about the racing dirt bikes that is most exciting to you? Competition? Risk? Innovation? Other?

The most exciting part about racing for me is the risk. Every race has something new for us that we haven’t done or experienced and it makes me a better rider every time.

6. If you didn’t compete what else would you be doing?

If I wasn’t competing or riding, I would probably still be playing soccer or just focusing on school and work. Racing makes my life interesting.

7. What are your short and long term goals? What do you see yourself achieving?

My short-term goal is to finish in a podium position in the women’s class before college. To achieve this, I’m going to practice as often as I can to get more training hours in. I’m also going to focus a lot on my physical health this year and getting myself and the bike in top-tier shape. My long-term goal is to get a big bike within the next two years on my own. I’m going to get myself completely comfortable on my bike this year and push myself to as high of a limit as I can. At the same time, I’m going to save money over time toward the dream bike I want.

8. How do you prepare or set yourself up for success? What do you do that is above and beyond?

To prepare, I focus a lot on what I’m eating and drinking on race weekends. I limit sugar and carbonation as much as I can. Instead, I focus on eating clean and drinking lots of water and electrolytes so that I have the fuel I need to feel good on and off the track. I also like to keep myself as active as I can. Instead of sitting in the trailer on my phone, I go walk the track or ride bikes with my friends.

9. What is something people would never guess or believe about you?

Most people don’t know that I graduated early to be a full-time college student. I’m majoring in pre-nursing right now at Nevada State College at 17 years old. That often shocks people.

10. What are the greatest obstacles you face? How do you overcome them?

The greatest obstacle I face is mental blocks at some races. If I have a rough practice or not a very good memory of a track, I get stuck mentally. I overcome this by giving myself a pep talk, then giving plenty of attention to the parts of the track that I struggled with the most. This makes me feel so much better about my performance once it’s race time.

11. Have you faced critics and naysayers? How do you handle the negativity?

I have faced plenty of critics, especially being a girl racer. With the sport being pretty male-dominated, it’s bound to happen that guys will criticize your every move. I started pretty late for my age too, so that has brought me some criticism too. I tend to let their words go in one ear and out the other though and try to not let them get to me. Instead, I tell myself that I’ll prove them all wrong about me.

12. What are your greatest successes?

My greatest success in racing has been my 2nd place championship in Girls 12-15 in 2021 for the WORCS series.

13. What are your biggest mistakes? What did you learn from them?

My biggest mistake in racing has been losing control of the bike at Mesquite last October, which ended in a concussion and some lost points. I felt at my lowest with my racing performance at that point and it took a toll, but I tried to analyze what I could remember that led to the crash. It taught me how to pick myself up after something like that and not give up. I learned that mistakes and accidents happen and that I needed to fix my technique/skill to not let that happen again. 

14. What advice would you give to a newcomer?

Racing/riding is not “a guy sport” or “something to leave to the men”. Women can race and ride too, so don’t let them put you down. Also, race your own race and put your all into it because you’re there for a reason. 

15. Who do you follow, admire or aspire to be like? Why?

I admire and aspire to be like Brandy Richards. Brandy has dozens of wins and championships under her belt, especially in Women’s Pro and Pro-Am at WORCS. She motivates me to push myself harder knowing that there’s a woman in the sport that holds su

ch an influence, even over all these guys.

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