Manufacturers Cup motorcycle drag racing series
MPS/Mike Thyen Racing team report
event: Motec World Finals presented by Mickey Thompson Tires
when: November 14-16, 2014
where: South Georgia Motorsports Park, Valdosta, USA
MPS/Thyen Wins Man Cup Pro Comp Championship
story courtesy of Dan Rudd of MPS, photos by Tim Hailey
Yet another championship for Billy Vose
Turn the clock back to 2008....Mike Thyen takes on the task of building a competitive Pro Comp/Pro Extreme Motorcycle with a Hayabusa powerplant. Most Pro Comp/Pro Extreme Motorcycle racers scoffed and told him it couldn’t be done. In true Thyen fashion, he decided to do it anyway. By the World Finals in 2010 the bike had gone a best of 4.23 with Lectron carbs, Schnitz ignition, and Billy Vose riding. I had been helping with the bike on a very small scale. Mike and I discussed MPS getting more involved with the bike at the 2010 World Finals. I told him I would if he went with the Holley Electronic Fuel Injection instead of carbs. Mike sold the original rolling chassis January 2011 and contracted Terry Stemper of Innovative Performance to build a new chassis. We finished all the mounts, tabs, and wiring at MPS in the spring. We were finally ready by June for our first outing. We qualified #8 and ran a 4.36 with Mike aboard at Bristol Dragway. At the Manufacturers Cup World Finals in 2011, Mike ran a 4.23. This equaled the best the old carbureted bike had gone with Billy riding the year before. We were encouraged to be back where we were, if not slightly ahead, in just half of a season.
For 2012 we decided that we needed Billy in the seat full time. After all, he is the best Pro Comp/Pro Extreme Motorcycle rider out there. We were working hard on all kinds of new ideas. We would run a 4.11 to eclipse the HTP bikes and become the “World’s Quickest Hayabusa.” Billy won the first race for the team that year. We were finally becoming competitive!
Our 2012 successes made us even more optimistic about the new year. We had larger engines and a few other goodies to help us this year. We came out swinging in April with a number one qualifier and a win at the first Manufacturers Cup race of the year in Bradenton, FL. We ran our first 4.0 pass at Maryland International Raceway at a MIROCK event in October. We were in a tight points race with Brunson Grothus for the Manufacturers Cup championship. The title would go to who went the furthest in eliminations. We met in the semi finals where we came out on the losing end of a .008 second margin of victory race, giving Brunson the championship for 2013. We ran a team best of 4.07 at that race and were even more determined for next year.
2014 would start well with a number five qualifying spot and a runner up finish at the first Manufacturers Cup race at SGMP in Valdosta, GA. The second Manufacturers Cup race at Virginia Motorsports Park we were #1 qualifier with a new team best of 4.06, but could only get to the second round. The next race was a PDRA race back at Virginia Motorsports Park. We qualified sixth and would run a best of 4.08 in route to a win over 2013 champ Eric McKinney. This was the first PDRA win for our team. The next weekend was the 3rd Man Cup race, moved from Atlanta Dragway back to SGMP in Valdosta. We had visions of back to back victories. We worked our way to the final round against Brunson Grothus only to have a cam pin loosen and come out and tear up our cam position sensor. We watched our back to back chances die with the bike, 40 feet off the starting line. PDRA Dragstock at Rockingham would be a giant race with 22 fast Pro Extreme Motorcycle entries. We qualified #1 with another team best 4.045 @ 175.76 just .009 seconds off the PDRA national record of 4.036. We won round one, but weather issues would postpone the second round until the PDRA Finals back at Virginia Motorsports Park. The weather in Virginia was terrible and would cause the Friday-Saturday race to be run on Sunday night and Monday. This wouldn’t have been so bad except Billy had a flight to Bahrain to catch at 6:00 PM Sunday that couldn’t be changed. This was very disappointing for everyone on our team to have to forfeit both of these races. Leading the Manufacturers Cup Pro Comp points by less than a round over Paul Gast and by 2 rounds over Travis Davis we knew the World Finals would be a dog fight for the championship. I believe for the first time ever, Paul Gast would not qualify. Billy went out in the second round in a close race to Mark Paquette’s turbo. Travis Davis joined us in exiting the race in the second round to make Billy the 2014 Manufacturers Pro Comp Champion! The first ever Hayabusa and the first electronic fuel injected bike to win the Pro Comp title!
About the bike: This bike is a totally unique combination for Pro Comp. It starts with a highly modified Suzuki Hayabusa powerplant with an MPS billet block, CP Pistons, Crower rods, Cooper Performance cylinder head with Kibblewhite valves, APE springs and cylinder studs in an Innovative Performance Racing chassis. It features what we call “MPS Spyder Dry Nitrous system and the new Holley Dominator ECU. This custom EFI/nitrous system controls all motorcycle functions including data logging.
We would also like to thank all our other parts suppliers without whom we could not race. Thanks to Kevin at Lectron Fuel Systems for the awesome new “Injectrons”, Tim at Holley EFI, Ray at MSD Ignition, Jay at APE, Snake & RC at CP-Carrillo, Bill at Robinson Industries, Kerry at Crower, Lori, Debbie, and Melissa at Web Cam, Mike at Cometic, Go Go at Nitrous Express, Kurt at Millennium Technology, Will at Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Carl at ARC, Eric at MTC Engineering, Dave at Worldwide Bearings, Dawn at Bates Leathers, Hot Rod Chrissy for her awesome photos, and last but not least Brandi at Dragbike.com for the great coverage of our sport.
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