Motorcycle land-speed records fall at Bonneville

Pending ratification by AMA Racing and the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme), Chris Carr is once again the fastest man in the world on two wheels, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

The seven-time AMA Grand National Champion, riding the Denis Manning-built No. 7 streamliner, recaptured the provisional outright world and national land-speed records on Thursday, Sept. 24. Carr’s two-pass average of 367.382 mph in the measured mile was set at the AMA-sanctioned Land Speed Shootout at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

The previous record was 360.913, set by rider Rocky Robinson and builder Mike Akatiff in 2008.

"It was a lot of work. This time was hard," Manning said. "We blew up stuff, we got blown off course. It was tough. The thing was, every time we made a run, some part of the run was phenomenal, so we knew we were near. For these runs, we made an eighth-inch change to the aerodynamics and it made all the difference. The data was telling me that the nose was trying to dive, so we raised it up, and it worked."

Carr said that the record run was relatively smooth.

"We had the drama on the out-run," Carr said. "We about cleaned out the side of the course on the run out with the wind blowing, but the run back was great. It actually started to slow down for me. It was not nearly as hectic as 347 (mph) was a couple years ago."

This is the second time Carr has held the record as a rider, and the third time for Manning as a builder. Carr first set the outright land-speed record in 2006. Manning also set the land-speed record in 1970.

"The outright land-speed record is one of the most coveted numbers in motorcycle competition," said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. "This is a number that all motorcyclists, competitors or not, can relate to. Every time this record is set, it’s a historic moment for racing. The engineering that Denis Manning and his team invest in this endeavor, and the emotional fortitude and physical skill that Chris Carr brings to the table, are impressive. The AMA congratulates them on this accomplishment."

The meet where Carr and Manning set the new record came near the end of the season for running on the Bonneville Salt Flats, which most of the year are too wet for competition.

Earlier in the season, Aug. 30-Sept. 3, provisional records in a number of classes were also set at the International Speed Trials by BUB, and they are waiting ratification by AMA Racing.. The AMA-sanctioned event, which Manning promotes, is the premier national meet for amateur land-speed racers to attempt land-speed records in classes ranging from 50cc scooters to supercharged sportbikes.


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