Motorcycle Racing News Bonneville: BMW's Thompson, 201 mph

Bonneville: BMW’s Thompson, 201 mph

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BUB Speed Trials

Valerie Thompson ran a personal best top speed of 201.01 mph with her Alter/Bivins Land Speed Racing Team prepared BMW S1000RR Superbike at the 8th Annual BUB Speed Trials. While not a record, her top speed exceeded all other BMW’s competing at the event.

Teammate Kerry Alter, co-owner of the Alter/Bivins team, set three new land speed records piloting an Aprila and BMW Superbike.

Thompson’s BMW was sponsored by CTEK, makers of the world’s smartest battery chargers, Troon Enterprises and Hawthorne CAT. Her two top runs were 199 and 201.01 mph. Her attempt for a land speed record was foiled by stiff crosswinds over the 10 mile International course which at times gusted up to 13mph.

Valerie Thompson (Alter/Bivins Land Speed Racing BMW S1000RR) says: “While we wanted to set a new record with the BMW in the FIM 1000cc class, we did reach a team goal of exceeding 200 mph. This is my fifth year competing in the BUB Speed trials and I exceeded my former best speed by more than 35 mph. Our team accomplished the majority of the goals we set for this event.”

Kerry Alter says: “Valerie did an excellent job of driving given the weather and salt conditions. We are proud of her performance considering all her competition ran her a couple of weeks ago, gaining even more course knowledge than we had.” The Alter/Bivins team has established 11 motorcycle land speed records over the last five years.

The BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials was held Aug. 27 through Sept. 1 at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The American Motorcycle Association (AMA), verifies and sanctions all US national records. All world records are verified and sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motoclisme (FIM). Over 300 racers attempt establishing new motorcycle land speed records each year, yet less than 10% set records, signifying the difficulty of this endeavor.

Valerie Thompson Background

Thompson set two land speed records piloting a panhead Harley Davidson provided by Keith Ball of in 2006 and 2007. She has risen from a competitor in the All Harley Drag Racing Association series, to being a team owner/licensed competitor in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock Motorcycle Series in less than five years. The NHRA is the world’s largest drag racing association.

Thompson also serves as a motorcycle presenter for the world’s largest auto auction company, Barrett-Jackson. She is also a spokeswoman for “Val’s Pals” children charities, most notably, HopeKids.

Alter/Bivins Land Speed Racing Team Background

In 2007, Phoenix Arizona resident, Kerry Alter and Julian Bivins joined forces to set a new Land Speed Record in the 1000cc Modified Class at the Bonneville Salt Flats. In 2008, Alter formed the Alter/Bivins Land Speed Racing team. Between all team drivers, A/B LSR has accumulated 12 motorcycle land speed records. Alter has eight records, Valerie Thompson holds two and Bivins is also a 2-time land speed record holder.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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