The Top 1 Ack Attack team of Mike Akatiff and Rocky Robinson set the motorcycle land speed record with a 376.363 mph average on Sept. 26 at 8:58 MST. Recorded at Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout, the record was certified by an official of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), and having undergone ratification is now the new world record of 376.363 mph, eclipsing the previous 367 mph record established by Chris Carr driving Denis Manning’s BUB 7 in 2006. The record pass was highlighted by an exit speed of better than 394 MPH at the end of the mile.
The team came close to breaking the record several times, but control problems continually foiled their efforts. Finally Rocky and Mike traced the problem to the tires. The rounded profile of the new tires was causing Rocky to continuously pull to one side. Mike made an overnight trip in his private plane to fetch their old tires which had a more stable square profile. It cured the problem and Rocky was able to extract maximum performance from the streamliner to set the new world record.
“We are thrilled about this incredible new world record, set just two years after the current milestone was set. That’s an historic achievement indeed,” quoted Charles Hennekam, the official on-site FIM observer. “On behalf of FIM, I congratulate Mike, Rocky and the team on success, along with all the other world record breaking teams this week. Land speed racing requires enormous resources and technical sophistication, passion and above all perseverance. Given the dedication of land speed racing professionals, we expect to see even more competitors return to Bonneville in 2009 to challenge Ack Attack’s title.”
Rocky subsequently detailed his experiences in his widely acclaimed book Flat Out: The Race for the Motorcycle World Land Speed Record available at amazon.com.
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