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Tom Anderson

A blast from the past, Mike Myers returns to CMRA racing action

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"The" Mike Myers, predominate former sprinter and endurance racer of the CRRC legends, AMA, and WERA in the '90s, mentor to Colin Edwards, side-kick to Joe Prussiano, and all around good guy, returned to the CMRA last weekend at TWS. Mike teamed up with Gale Tynfield and Chris Lombardo to try their hand at F1 class racing in the latest CMRA Endurance round aboard a 2009 R1 Yamaha under the team name "BT Racing". Mike in particular, who hadn't ridden a superbike in over 20 years in anger, was able to throw down the fastest laps of the team Saturday as he came to grips with the unyielding horsepower from the Cross-plane engine, and marveled at the incredible difference in tire and suspension technology with SCRC Bridgestone tires and Ohlins suspension.
After simply riding the R1 from the trailer to the paddock, Mike (after a couple of descriptive expletives) said, "That thing is mental! I just had it in first gear and moved the throttle a quarter inch and it took off like a rocket!". He went on to say, "If I would have had this thing in the '90's, NOBODY would be able to touch me in the AMA. I thought my old superbike had power, this thing is incredible!" This observer believes that the biggest lesson learned is to cover the speedometer; even though speedometer error is seriously in play, it does work wonders to the mind when the racer looks down and sees 192mph indicated! My guess is the Mike will have that covered next race.
Unfortunately, the R1 the team raced is the property of Mike Boyce, a CMRA member and team-mate to Gale Tynfield of BT Racing, and was built for him in the suspension department. As this is the case, the bike was anything but ready to go when it was delivered to the track for practice Saturday. The suspension was way off from the team's ability to use it, and much time was spent getting it dialed in during the "short" endurance practice session. "Short" because the team would rather have had a whole day just to dial the suspension in.
Mike had thrown his leg over Andy Galindo's ZX-6R on Friday for a couple sessions with Lone Star Track Days, and was very pleased with the ZX as he rode around the 2.9 miles of TWS. Another epiphany to Mike was that ride, when he got off the bike after his first session he said, "That is easily the fastest I've EVER gone on a motorcycle, and definitely the fastest I've gotten around this track. My old F2 was nowhere near as good as that thing, and maybe half as fast." Gale rode his R1 and Ducati 1098 on Friday with great results as well, and Lombardo sailed around on his R6. None had a clue what to expect on Saturday aboard the big Cross-plane R1.
As the team members collaborated and finally reached their mechanical ability to tune the suspension, John Hutchinson and Brandon Spradling from and South Central Race Center came to see if they could turn the suspension woes around. A few turns on the adjusters, some test laps around the track, and the steed was deemed "It'll do" by the team by the end of practice.
The team went in to this endeavor carrying the attitude, "No fuss, have fun, ride smooth." As Gale started from the back of the pack in the large grid endurance race, nobody could argue that he wasn't smooth. Gale turned some nice laps during his first stint, and most importantly, he kept the rubber side down. Each team member did a great job with their respective stints, turning consistent and crash-free laps. All did a fantastic job, and by the end of the 6 hours found that they had solidified themselves 13th overall, 5th in SBA in the 28 team field.
Some of the final thoughts and comments gleaned from Mike Myer's return were so telling of our sport and the technology involved. As a sponsored rider, Mike rode some of the best machinery available at the time. Most of the modern day suspension technology and tires of this era really started in the '90s with the advent of production cartridge forks and tire compound developments. Mike's comments about how the tires performed without a tire change on this high horsepower liter bike for 6 hours, the incredible forces generated and mid-corner grip of the tires, and the unbelievable acceleration and braking of this motorcycle were the most telling.
It was great to see Mike back on the grid. It was most fun seeing his reaction as he climbed off the bike every time he rode it! Mike's whole support team- his wife Traci, son Taylor, Daughter Mikaeli, and of course Alyssia, Gracie, and Hayes Edwards, made sure to cheer him on with only a few jabs about not racing thrown in for good measure!
We hope to see Mike return for some more cameo rides, after the results gained at this event, this team may actually be one to watch out for!
Left to right: Chris Lombardo, Gale Tynfield, Mike Myers

Left to right standing: Alyssia Edwards, Candace Newton, Traci Myers. Sitting left Chris Lombardo, sitting right Sherri Tynfield. All enjoying the day in the BT Racing pits at TWS!
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