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BUB 7 Team at Australia’s Lake Gairdner Salt Flats in 2018

Racing

Valerie Thompson Vacates Pilot Seat in Manning’s BUB 7 Motorcycle Streamliner

America’s Queen of Speed cites lack of confidence after mass team resignations.

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Ten-time land speed record holder Valerie Thompson announced, effective immediately, her separation from Denis Manning and the BUB 7 Streamliner Motorcycle team, citing loss of confidence in the streamliner and designer Manning. Thompson has been piloting the former world-title holding motorcycle since 2016 and was Manning’s top funding source for the team.

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Considered the “world’s fastest female motorcycle racer” after inking a 328 mph speed record, Thompson is an independent team owner/driver who competitively drag raced before focusing on land speed racing, eventually earning 10 Land Speed Records on two continents.

“We lost some essential crew members over the last few months,” said Thompson about her eroding confidence in the project. “The remaining crew contacted me late last week with the sad news they had quit and removed all their tools from the Team 7 Racing shop. Without this ‘super crew,’ I’m highly doubtful about the performance potential of the BUB 7 to recapture the worlds fastest motorcycle title. More importantly, I’m concerned for my safety. These are not just my team mates — they’re my guardian angels.”

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Each of the departing team members helped extract Thompson from the BUB 7 wreckage after a devastating 363 mph crash on Australia’s Lake Gairdner salt flats in 2018. “While I’m disappointed I won’t be setting the fastest motorcycle record with Team 7 Racing, I’m heartbroken the crew won’t see the results of their 36 months of painstaking rebuilding work. Each of them has volunteered countless hours in this quest. They deserve better,” added Thompson.

Thompson remains the principal driver of the dual-engine Target 550 streamliner owned by Oregonian and veteran land speed race team owner Marlo Treit. Treit’s 43-foot, 9,000-pound speed machine is vastly different than the BUB 7 motorcycle. The team’s goal is to break Tom Burkland’s 415 mph World Record set in 2008. Thompson exceeded the team’s testing goals on her first three test runs, clocking 218, 270 and 291 mph.

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Thompson, often referred to as “America’s Queen of Speed,” is a lifetime member of multiple 200 and 300 MPH Clubs, a Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee, the only female in the “World’s Top 10 Fastest Motorcycle Racers” rankings and aspiring pickleball pro.

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