Team NZ boss Grant Dalton survives 160kmh motorbike crash at Isle of Man
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton has survived a 160kmh crash while racing at the famous Isle of Man motorcycle festival.
The 60-year-old described the accident as "not a big deal" and he escaped unhurt after failing to take a bend on the notoriously dangerous circuit on the tiny island in the Irish Sea.
Dalton is racing two bikes at the Isle of Man – a Classic Superbike and a Classic Lightweight – and was on the more powerful bike when the accident happened on Wednesday (NZ time).
"I'd just cranked into a corner up at a place called The Verandah and the bike seized and just fired me off the road," Dalton told Stuff from Britain.
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"But I wasn't hurt at all. I just slid for a decent distance and got up again. The bike was alongside me and we ended up in the same spot.
"It's not a big deal, it's all part of it ... it just goes with the turf."
Dalton estimated he was doing around 160-177kmh at the time.
The tight circuit has claimed many victims. Between 1907 and 2017 there have been 255 rider competitor fatalities during official practices.
Dalton described the Isle of Man as being "a vicious place on machinery".
Dalton said the damaged bike was looking "a bit second hand" after the crash. But it was being repaired and he got back on his smaller bike to continue his qualifying quest.
He had just come in from completing three laps of the 60.3km course on his Classic Lightweight bike when he spoke to Stuff on Friday.
He had qualified both his bikes for the races in their classes which will be held on Saturday and Monday.
Adrenalin junkie Dalton also races cars on top of his yachting exploits that include winning the round the world race and now overseeing an America's Cup victory with Emirates Team New Zealand.
This is Dalton's fourth year racing the Isle of Man.
"It's a remarkable place. It's a pilgrimage," Dalton said.
"In terms of motorcycling, and everyone has a different view, but for me the Isle of Man and the guys that do it and the camaraderie of the type of people is amazing. It's a lot of mad Irishmen and others.
"There's a great saying here ... 'it's the only place in the world where they shut the road for you and the police wave to you as you go by'."
New Zealand rider Bruce Anstey, an Isle of Man legend, has qualified fastest so far in the two categories that Dalton races in.
Anstey boasts 12 wins in various classes, putting him seventh on the all-time list headed by Northern Ireland's Joey Dunlop with 26.
"He's amazing, he's just a great Kiwi and he's a lovely, lovely guy," Dalton said of Anstey, adding that there were several strong New Zealand riders and personalities involved in the festival again this year.
"They are amazing people. I'm slow, I'm just a hack. Guys like Anstey ... I'm just a chicane for those guys. Anything over 100mph (160kmh) in terms of average speed (for the circuit), I'm more than happy with.
"I was 19th last year on little bike which was a good result for me."
Dalton is mixing business with pleasure in Europe.
He is also working on sponsorship for Team New Zealand's defence of the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021.
Dalton and the Kiwi syndicate are also finalising the protocol for the 36th America's Cup with challenger of record Luna Rossa.
The hugely anticipated details of the rules for the next regatta will be unveiled in Auckland next month.