Paradise Valley woman's attempt at land-speed record ends in a crash

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Lou Fischer of BonnevilleStories.com) (Source: Lou Fischer of BonnevilleStories.com)
Valley resident Valerie Thompson went to Australia this weekend for the Lake Gairdner World Speed Trials, hoping to break the all-time land speed record of 376.36 miles per hour on her motorcycle. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Valley resident Valerie Thompson went to Australia this weekend for the Lake Gairdner World Speed Trials, hoping to break the all-time land speed record of 376.36 miles per hour on her motorcycle. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

She's already the fastest woman on two wheels. But she wants to be the fastest person

Valley resident Valerie Thompson went to Australia this weekend for the Lake Gairdner World Speed Trials, hoping to break the all-time land speed record of 376.36 miles per hour on her motorcycle.

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, her attempt ended in a heart-stopping crash. 

[RELATED: PV woman first female to compete for fastest motorcycle racer in the world]

She had already gotten her specialized motorcycle up to nearly 344 miles per hour when it went airborne. Thompson flipped and spun like a kite in the wind. The wreckage stretched out over a mile long. A red scar dug into the white salt lake bed.

Amazingly, Thompson walked away with just a few bumps and bruises. 

"Otherwise I'm OK. My heart is hurt tremendously," said Thompson. 

Soon she'll be on her way home to Paradise Valley.

"If it wasn't for that motorcycle that I  was in I wouldn't be here today. That's how safe it was,” said Thompson. 

Her team is still going through the data and videos to figure out what went wrong. 

“There's no room for error, and there might have been a couple errors, might have been the wind, it could have been a little soft spot in the track, we don't know,” she said. 

Thompson's not giving up. If they can fix her bike in time, she's going to try again for the record in Utah this August. 

‘I'm going after the record, period. I'm getting chills on my skin. Who can say they're going after a 376 mile record? First and foremost it's crazy, and I am, and so are all of us, we're all crazy,” said Thompson. 

Thompson unintentionally set a different record that day. It's believed she's the first person ever to walk away from a crash over 300 miles per hour. 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

Hide bio