Emmett Burke is one of the larger than life characters in the road race paddocks. Big on stature, and always produces a quick-witted response to any questioning about a particular racing moment.
We caught up with Fulham’s fastest gasman, who this season has gained entries in the Supersport classes at this year’s TT races.
Very much a privateer in the true sense of the word Burke hopes to continue developing his Isle of Man circuit knowledge, as well as increase his lap times around the mountain course.
We caught up with him after he received the news that his entry had been accepted for the TT, and was already in the middle of planning what looks to be the biggest event of his career.
Q1: Having competed on the roads now, for many years, what would be your favourite race, venue and why?
“It would have to be the Ulster Grand Prix, it is so fast and flowing, and although I do not do any partying, the atmosphere is incredible and the event seems to be going from strength to strength.
I think the organisers work very hard to make the circuit as safe as it can be, which will be no easy job.”
Q2: Who in your opinion are the best riders you have been locking horns and elbows since your career started, not only on the track but the way they were off track?
“To be honest I have never really had the kit to compare myself to the really fast guys like Hutchy, McGuinness or Dunlop.
Despite this I really enjoy pushing myself to my own limit,s and it is always good to be involved with another rider scrapping it out for a position in a race. The most important thing is to be having fun and enjoying your sport.”
Photo by Jim Gibson
Q3: When you were growing up, were motorcycles prevalent in your early years, and did you have any racing heroes?
“When I was just a nipper, I had firstly an RD 50 at the age of 15, growing up on the the estate was a lot of fun.
Heroes, not really, but I would say ‘Bazza’ (Barry Sheene). That may sound a bit silly as he only did the TT once, but everyone knew who he was and definitely put motorcycle racing on the map when I was a lad.”
Q4: What are you looking forward to most at TT 2018, and any other events this year?
“To be honest to get a finish at the TT and have a decent run is the most I can ask for, we will just have to see how it goes. I am also looking to go back to Dundrod and do the Ulster GP.”
Q5: If your house was burning itself to the ground, what material possession would you run back in and save?
“Just my Arai RX7, I am not all that materialistic, but not a situation I would like to happen.”
Q6: Away from the race track describe your perfect day?
“I have been out a lot greenlaning in Wales and the surrounding countryside. I am a pretty big lad and I have been working hard on my fitness over the winter, and there is nothing better getting out on my KTM and having a blast with my mates.”
Q7: Is your glass half empty or half full?
“Half full always, mainly with Red Bull, I gave up the hard stuff years ago.”
Q8: If you were not racing, what do you think you would be doing for kicks?
“Base Jumping or something a bit risky for sure.”
Q9: What is your most embarrassing moment, and to juxtapose this, what is your proudest most triumphant moment?
“Luckily nothing too embarrassing to report of late, but the highlight so far was finishing 27th in the Senior Manx GP on a wet TT course 2012.”
Q10: What is on in your iPod, mp3, CD player or even your stereo at the moment?
“Metallica ‘Nothing else matters’. Or just about anything by them.”
Q11: And finally, describe yourself in four words!
“Funny, witty, fast, contemplative.”
Words by John McComisky