Bradford Regroups It's not easy for a veteran racer like Tom Bradford to make the decision to skip a race date. But after a disappointing third straight Pro Stock Motorcycle DNQ, Bradford pointed his rig east out of Denver's Bandimere Speedway.
It's not easy for a veteran racer like Tom Bradford to make the decision to skip a race date. But after a disappointing third straight Pro Stock Motorcycle DNQ, Bradford pointed his rig east out of Denver's Bandimere Speedway. "I'm not going to the next race in Sonoma, that's how frustrating it's become," Tom said. "I'm turning the truck around and heading home. We're gonna work on everything at the shop and get this bike right. We can't go to the Brainerd race not knowing if we're going to be in the show."
Bradford has always pushed the edge of development, putting his own 60 degree V-Twin Buell together with engine builder Rob Schopf before the S&S powered Buell he rides now was available. When Blake Gann developed a new clutch system earlier this year, Bradford was the first to try it on a Buell. And when approached with a new prototype part several races ago, Bradford decided to give it a try. That part isn't working on Tom's bike as he'd hoped, so he's removing it in favor of the more dependable and proven part run by most of the Buell teams.
"We've all seen what my team can do when everybody has the same stuff," said Bradford, a member of the Mickey Thompson 6 Second Club and competitor in last year's Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle. "So we're gonna learn the new equipment and test with it. Maybe the problem is two fold, so we'll be going through the motors thoroughly to make sure they're generating the proper output. If there are some aging issues with the motors, then maybe that costs us 5 horsepower. Then maybe development parts cost us another 5 horsepower, then we're down 10 and that's a lot. I do not have any concerns about the actual building of the engines. Rob Schopf has been doing a great job for us and is the best in the business. It is more about not leaving any stone unturned. We are going down a list of potential areas that could be the problem and checking them off as we confirm that they are OK.
"We have the full support of our primary sponsor The Sportsman Channel on the decision to skip Sonoma. Minnesota is a very important market for them, and we need to get back in the top half of the field there where we belong. The Sportsman Channel is a competitive company. They're the best at what they do, and they want us to be the same on the track. So we're gonna get this program turned around before we get back out there. This team will get through this and be a better team because of it. This type of situation just makes us work harder and be better!"