By Erin Sills
Racers and their teams travel from around the globe to put their ingenuity and skill to test every year at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, also known as the AMA Land Speed Grand Championship, and 2016 is no exception. Longtime competitors Greg Watters and Kim Krebs travel from Victoria, Australia, every year to push the limits on their 1650cc turbo-charged Hayabusa, and their accomplishments never disappoint.
Day 3 of BMST saw Watters set a new world record in the 1650cc blown/fuel class at 243 mph. Krebs promptly followed up with an equally impressive 238 mph qualifying pass and 244 mph return run to set the 1650cc blown/gas record at 241 mph, crushing the prior record of 204 mph.
Greg Watters and Kim Krebs travel from Victoria, Australia, every year to compete. Photo: Hunter Sills Racing
"The AMA is pleased to work with the FIM [Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme] to bring national and world records to our participants," said AMA Track Racing Manager Ken Saillant. "It's exciting to see people travel from around the globe and experience the magic of the Bonneville Salt Flats."
The other major excitement of the day came from the pits of Valerie Thompson Racing where Valerie is piloting Denis Manning's "BUB 7" streamliner in hopes of regaining the title of World's Fastest Motorcycle at over 365 mph. A title currently held by Rocky Robinson in the "Ack Attack," Thompson and her team successfully licensed-up through required passes, ultimately going 294 mph with the promise of more over the coming days.
Valerie Thompson is piloting Denis Manning's "BUB 7" streamliner in hopes of regaining the title of World's Fastest Motorcycle. Photo: Hunter Sills Racing
For Hunter Sills Racing, we successfully set our second record of the meet, changing the body style and exhaust, which placed us in the modified partially-streamlined gas class and running against our prior record of 207.998 mph. With a qualifying pass of 209.5 mph and return run of 210.1 mph, we were delighted to bump it to 209.7 mph for the team. Next goal: Remove the fairings and chase our third record of the meet -- the 1000cc "naked" gas class (current record, 182mph).