Valerie Thompson crashes at 343 mph while attempting motorcycle speed record; video

Valerie Thompson crashes at 343 mph while attempting motorcycle speed record; video

Outdoors

Valerie Thompson crashes at 343 mph while attempting motorcycle speed record; video

Valerie Thompson airborne during crash at 343 mph

The world’s fastest female motorcycle rider is fortunate to have escaped serious injury after crashing this week at a speed of 343 mph.

Valerie Thompson, whose motorcycle flipped and careened for more than a mile after the crash, had been attempting to set the overall record of 376.36 mph at the Lake Gairdner World Speed Trials in Australia (see video).

But her bright-red Team 7 Streamliner bike tipped and caught air midway through her run on a dry lake bed. The carbon-fiber shell held mostly together and a parachute deployed to help prevent what could have been a disastrous result for “America’s Queen of Speed.”

Valerie Thompson

Remarkably, Thompson, who is from Scottsdale, Arizona, emerged slightly dazed, but without notable injuries.

“I could wiggle my toes and move my hands, so I knew I was OK,” she recalled to a team spokesman. “I tried to get out but was having a difficult time. Finally, the rescue team arrived and helped get me all the way out.”

Days earlier, Thompson had broken her own record with a run of 328.467 mph. (The overall record of 376.36 mph was set by Rocky Robinson in 2010 at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.)

Thompson, who has set multiple land-speed records and was recently inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame, became the only female motorcycle rider to join the 300-mph club after completing a run of 304.263 mph in 2016 at Bonneville Salt Flats (video posted below).

She could not recall exactly what caused her crash in Australia, but said it might have been the result of overcompensation while trying to veer slightly left of a known soft patch – three miles down the track – where a root had recently been removed.

Thompson’s team had installed video cameras inside the shell, but they were destroyed during the crash.

Her carbon-fiber two-wheel speed machine – she sits in what resembles a race-car cockpit – is powered by a 500-horsepower, dual overhead cam, turbocharged V4 engine.

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