The first "Performance of the 2007 rendition of the Bruce Lind Racing Traveling Circus.

To set the stage.
Last fall, Internet race bike/parts provider, Ben Lake, contacted me about a couple of late model Yamaha TZ250s that he would have available for sale.
Pat Dowd had been looking to upgrade from his highly modified 95 model and I had just sold my Y2K that Nobi-san rode all last year to newbe racer Michael Danielson.
I purchased the 05 Fujiwara-san developed Tech-2 bike and Pat signed up for an 04 from the T-Project team.
There is a new emphasis in Japan to prevent the export of stolen bikes and our shipment got caught up in the paperwork and was delayed for months.
We had to delay the departure date for the van and trailer by a week and were still uncertain if we would take delivery in time.

Through a lot of expedite by my wife Edie, we took delivery of the crate Friday afternoon (April 20). I unloaded the crate and set up the shop so Pat and I could work on the bikes all weekend inspecting/and making them race ready. I also had finishing touchs to complete on the van and trailer prior to the Monday evening (4/23) departure for Kansas (a 2000 mile drive). I am up and at work early on Saturday. Pat does not complete the drive up from Portland until mid day. My 05 turns out to be a very nice, stock 05 that has not been messed with. I install new piston pins and bearings and reassemble. Drill and safety wire all the fasteners that the various race organizations in the States require. Pat has a new crank and top end to install. He splits the cases and starts the reassembly process. We call it quits about 9:30 pm and he is back early on Sunday, and we start at it again.
I spend the morning on the trailer getting it ready to load up the "circus" in the afternoon and assist Pat when required. He runs into a problem getting his engine to pass the leak down test. The manifolds have been glued to the reed cages and they leak at the case surface and at the manifold clamps. After close inspection both manifolds have a split under the band(?????). There are spare reed blocks with the bike and he installs those and finds that the spare manifolds are also split. We take the ones off my spare engine that are brand new and he installs the engine in the frame after changing springs on both ends and inspecting everything.

Pat runs out of time and we have to load his bike unfinished.

We have planned to ride the promoter practice on Thursday at Topeka, and Pat will have to spend the day finishing his bike.

Throughout Sunday, one by one, the Circus performers show up to drop off their bikes and equipment for loading.
I make a bunk behind the seats in the van using a folding table on top of my assorted spares boxes. Then load up my two 250's. My personal bike and the one that is now for sale. My 125 goes in the front of the trailer along side Orien's Rs125. Behind them are Kory Gill's and Danielson's 250's. Behind them are Dowd's Yamaha and Rajotte's 07 TSR-250 Honda. The tires and wheels go in the two tire racks and the spares boxes on the overhead shelf.

I spend Monday at work in meetings (like most days). Finally leave and am on the road to pick up Danielson (who will co drive with me on this stint).
As I'm driving down the long hill to Mike's apartment complex, the brake pedal on the van goes hard and I have a hard time getting this ocean freighter stopped at the light.
Mike is waiting on the curb when I pull up. I tell him the bad news. We have a problem with the brakes. I start checking fuses. Nothing! Call a mechanic friend of mine (Mr. "SpeedTune" Dahlstrom) and he advises that the Ford Diesels have a vacuum pump mounted on the side of the engine that goes out regularly. Something I did not know. He makes the trip and confirms that the pump has failed. It is a dealer only part and they are all closed now. We decide to pull the pump and get a new one in the morning. All we can do now is go our for a beer and wait. I spend the night at Danielson's. We are at the local Ford dealer at 0700 and are on the road at 0930.
Eleven hours late, so now we will have to push to make it by a decent time on Wednesday night.

The trip across the American west is uneventfull. Boy does this country need to spend it's time an MONEY on replacing the worn out interstate system that was built in the 50's and 60's. Idaho's roads are really worn out. We take turns driving. The only time the wheels are stopped is for fuel. We trade off at every fuel fill (5-6 hrs).
There is snow on the ground for a good distance east of Denver. Lots of vehicles in the ditches. Maybe it was a good thing we were delayed. We make it to the hotel in Topeka in 34 hours and early enough so we can go get dinner before passing out in a bed that is not moving.

Up at 0600 Thursday morning.
Out to the track to stand in the forever line at registration to get into the paddock. It is cold (40's) with a stiff wind. When we do get into the track, it takes hours to get the 20 X 60 ft "circus" awning and the pits set up. Gill, Danielson and Orien get out before the lunch break. I finally am ready in the late afternoon and get in the final two sessions. Even if the new owners have made improvements to Heartland Park Topeka, there are many places that the walls are still way to close! Have to ride this 2.5 mile, 14 turn (but they don't number the first three) track with a sense for survival!

We find the local Japanese Tepenyaki grill for dinner.

Friday we are joined by Sean Wray, Chris Manfried and Mike Rajotte. The circus is now complete.
We have to stand in line again on Friday to get thru CCS registration. This time it is warmer and the sun is shinning,
By the time we get in, and thru tech inspection, we are only able to make the 2nd and final round of practice.
Dowd and Rajotte both have mechanicals in practice.
All seven 250 riders are entered in the 25 minute GTU class in the afternoon.

Mid morning and the rain that was not expected till evening arrived and washed out the rest of the day for the circus.
Dowd fixed his problems and Rajotte spent the day looking for Honda parts that he finally found with Celtic racing.
The rest of us spent Friday afternoon tinkering on the bikes.

Out for Tepenyaki again.

Saturday dawns clear and dry!

One session of practice for each group.

I go out on the TZ125 and it just does not feel comfortable. It goes alright. It just is not a 250!

The ASRA and USGPRU qualifiers are in the morning before lunch.
I Qual in 16th on the 125 and 8th on the 250.

Wray runs foul of the unpublished "blend line" rule leaving the pits and is meatballed after 3 laps of qualification.
Did not matter. He ran over one of the curbs and broke the shift return spring pin and spent the afternoon fabricating a replacement, only to find out the Mark Stiles did the same thing at this track a few years back and actually caries spares of that part that "never" breaks.

Michael Rajotte's Honda is not running properly and he runs it off into the dirt and will spend the day working on his bike as well.

Again, all seven 250 are entered in the CCS Lightweight GP class.

At the end of the start/finish straight, the "hot pit" wall closes down the width of the race track as you have to turn to the left and crest the blind rise that then runs slightly down hill into the right left chicane that crosses over the drag strip.
The run from the start line positions into this compressed turn one is interesting unnerveing. Everyone is mindfull of each other and little contact is made.

Kory Gill gets his usually good start and is in the lead pack. As we all gingerly sweep over the blind turn one and down into right hand turn 2, Eddy Brunet goes up the inside of everyone and into the lead. I give it a lap or two and Dowd goes by both Kory and myself on his 04 with special 02 "KIT" top end.
I give it a couple of corners and also blast by Kory and chase Pat. We have a good run. Like on a bungy cord. We work our way up and Pat gets past Gary Palmer on his yellow Ducati 750 four stroke and into 2nd place. I make several attempts to get by, but am not hungry enough. Danielle Lenardazzi and Chris Quillman each make runs on me at various times, but my pace holds them off for the 7 lap event.

The race is stopped by a red flag when the "circus" novice, Michael Danielson hits the inside curb entering the back straight chicane and goes into the mud and crashes spectacularly. He is dazed, and the bike gets covered with mud. Minor actual damage.

Turns out that Michael was making an attempt to catch up with Chris Manfrin who he could see just ahead of him and pushed a little to hard.

Results of the Expert lightweight GP

1. Eddy Brunet Hon 250
2 Pat Dowd Yam 250
3. Gary Palmer Duc 750
4. Bruce Lind Yam 250
5. Danielle Lenardazzi Yam 250
6. Christopher Quillman Yam 250
7. Dale Murphy Yam 250
8. Mark Stiles Yam 250
9. Tom Swager Hon 125
10. Kory Gill Yam 250
11. Jim Bergey Hon 250
12. Chris Chase Hyo 650
13. Chris Manfrin Yam 250
14. Rebecca Caudle Suz 650
15. Anthony Dean Suz 650
16. Daniel Qualtire Yam 250
17. George Linhart Duc 992
18. Michael Jordan
19 Scott Schaefer Duc 1000
20 Brandon Kovah Yam 250

In a quirk of fate, since there was a red flag, the results go back a lap and Danielson wins the Amateur Lightweight GP class even though he caused the flag.

You should know by now, that we were back to the Japanese place for food again on Saturday!


Clear and dry.

As is normal with CCS, there is one Practice session in the morning
The circus members circulate just to make sure everything is ok.
Danielson and Rajotte just complete repaires in time to make it out for the session.

Because of the large volume of stuff, I Start organizing and loading the van and trailer right after practice.

When the time comes I make the decision not to ride the 125 GP final, and save myself for the 250 GP event. Turns out to be a wise decision.

250 GP final

The temp is in the high 20 C range. Humidity is up and we ate and drank to much on Saturday night.

I start from position 3A on the grid.

I get a so, so start.

The funnel into turn one allows a group to get away right from the start as they are willing to take more chances then the rest of us are.
And all I want to do is get thru the first lap without incident so I can just ride the race track. Remember, I'm not racing. I riding track days, while the race goes on around me.

Dowd finally goes by me and we again ride like connected by an elastic cord. We get down to 1:54 laps.

Two laps from the end, Lenarduzzi blasts past both Pat and myself for 7th place. Mark Kelly of Celtic Racing makes several attempts to get by me.
We swap places a couple of times. On the final run down the back straight into the right, left, right chicane, I enter to fast and have to stand it up.
Kelly goes around me on the outside and I am forced to let him go. I drop to 10th.

Danielson dropped out early. Deciding that he was making to many mistakes and should just sit this one out.

1. 801Alex Welsh
2. 321 Eddy Brunet
3. 99 Patrick Jacobsen
4. 71 Chris Pyles
5. 9 Sean Wray BLRTC MEMBER
6. 338 Kris Turner
7. 413 Daniele Lenarduzzi
8. 14 Patrick Dowd BLRTC MEMBER
9. 36 Mark Kelly
10. 78 Bruce Lind BLRTC MEMBER
11. 46 Chris Quillman
12. 48 Dale Murphy
13. 369 Aaron Risinger
14. 377 Mark Stiles
15. 78X Tom Swager
16. 23 Chris Manfrin BLRTC MEMBER
17. 49 Allen Campbell
18. 206 Tony Wang
19. 70 Kory Gill BLRTC MEMBER
20. 20 Jim Bergey
21. 157 Daniel Qualtire
22. 115 Michael Rajotte BLRTC MEMBER
23. 22 Aaron Stein
24. 54 Leon Cortes
25. 154 Brandon Kovach
26. 555 Michael Danielson BLRTC MEMBER

The Bruce Lind Racing Traveling Circus continues to participate in USGPRU events with the help and assistance from

Bridgestone Tires
Silkolene Lubricants
EBC Brakes
Nankai of Takamatsu
The Law Offices of Edith Bowler
WASCO Frame Service
Bruce Lind Racing LLC
And the Sponsors and Supporter of the USGPRU

We spend three hours loading up the bikes and equipment.

Chris Manfrin and I start off on the drive to Chicago, where Chris will store the transport prior to the next event at Summit Point West Viriginia on Memorial Day Weekend.

Chris drops me off at Ohare airport on Monday afternoon so I can make the flight to Seattle.

I am scheduled to be on a flight out of Seattle at 0730 Tuesday morning to England on business for my employer, The Boeing Company, so I stay in a hotel on the Sea Tac Strip rather than make the trip home and back.

Been a busy couple of weeks.