Bike Land Velocity World Report Holder Valerie Thompson Survives 343-mph Crash In Australia

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Scottsdale, Arizona, resident Valerie Thompson walked away from a high-speed crash in Australia this week, when her “BUB 7” carbon-fiber streamline bike crashed on the salt flat at 343 mph through the World Velocity Trials on Lake Gairdner on Monday. Her purpose was 376 mph.

Valerie Thompson crash

Valerie Thompson and her crew chief Denis Manning (left) examine the BUB 7 streamliner in Australia.

Photograph: Valerie Thompson Racing

“I wish to thank the protection crew in Australia who did a superior job helping me,” Thompson mentioned. “With out the superior design and security options included within the bike by Denis Manning, John Jans, and crew, I’d not be sending this message now. I can’t wait to return to our favourite dry lakes Down Beneath. Huge thank-you goes out to so many followers who stopped by our pits to say good day and stayed over a number of additional days simply to see our try.”

The journey Down Beneath wasn’t a complete loss. Within the days earlier than the World Velocity Trials, Thompson, 50, broke her 304-mph ladies’s file with a whole 328-mph run through the Dry Lakes Racers Australia Velocity Week occasion, piloting the 500-hp, three,000cc, DOHC, four-valve, turbocharged V-Four bike constructed by Manning.

“It’s going to take time to find out the why, however we definitely know when and the way,” Manning mentioned in Australia. “The most effective information is she walked away from it. While you’re designing a machine like this, you’re overwhelmed by the keenness of getting the file. The theories about how a lot horsepower, how a lot frontal space, what sort of drag, all of that. You are taking it into consideration, and also you make your selections on the right way to get the file.

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Valerie Thompson crash

Put up-crash inspections are key to figuring out what went mistaken and why.

Photograph: FIM

“The darkish aspect, as I name it, is the place you don’t actually know what can occur when you’ve got calamity, tragedy,” he added. “Accidents are arbitrary; some gradual ones will kill individuals, quick ones will kill individuals. All of that is very harmful stuff. Because the builder I come away from this very proud that the machine did what I assumed it was going to do.

Valerie Thompson crash

The exhaust port of Thompson’s carbon-fiber BUB 7 streamliner.

Photograph: Valerie Thompson Racing

“I swore by the monocoque carbon-fiber composite. I knew in my coronary heart that it might be all proper. It was all simply principle, however you stroll as much as (the machine) and we have been proper. Primary, she walked away. Quantity two, the machine says, ‘Okay; I took a beating, however right here I’m.’ ”

Valerie Thompson crash

The BUB 7 streamliner left a mile-long crimson skidmark on the salt in Lake Gairdner.

Photograph: FIM

A preliminary report from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the sanctioning physique for the occasion, mentioned the rear of Thompson’s streamliner got here off the bottom earlier than its parachutes introduced it to a cease. The bike fell onto its aspect, digging a deep trench into the salt flats and spreading wreckage over a mile.

“In the present day didn’t go as deliberate,” Thompson defined to an FIM official. “I all the time mentioned that crashing was not on my bucket checklist, however I did it. It doesn’t really feel superb as a result of at 343 miles per hour, standing right here speaking to you is fairly, really superb.”

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Valerie Thompson crash

Thompson and her crew plan to return to Bonneville Velocity Week in August.

Photograph: Valerie Thompson Racing

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