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Company director launches motorbike speed attempt

Tauranga company director Paul Heard launches $2m attempt on the world production motorbike speed record in Carterton this Sunday.

Carterton’s Flying Mile will live up to its name this Sunday 21 September as Paul Heard unleashes his turbo-charged 1000cc Suzuki on country back roads in his attempt to beat New Zealand’s 302 kph motorcycle speed record.

“When the turbo charger kicks in and the full 250 brake horse power are unleashed the front wheel literally lifts off the ground and the Suzuki will really begin to fly over the back-country road,” says Heard.

“We tested the bike last week, and went faster than any New Zealander on two wheels. Sunday’s Cliffhanger Flying Mile is our chance to smash the record books, and start our programme to successively break the world production motorcycle record.”

In November, Heard and his 10-strong support team will embark on a year-long, world tour to progressively keep breaking the 311 kph world production motorcycle record on a Ducati Desmosedici RR. Heard’s first attempt will be 9 November at Featherston in the South Wairarapa, after which he and his team will travel to Dubai, Bahrain and South Africa before returning to New Zealand in December. In 2009 Heard has confirmed appearances in Australia for the Melbourne GP, then Japan before travelling to the United Kingdom where he will appear on the television show Fifth Gear. Heard will then tour Europe, including a stop in Italy, the home of Ducati. Heard will then carry on to the United States for an interview with Jay Leno before finishing at the famous Speedweek on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in August 2009.

“After my attempt to capture the New Zealand speed record on the open class turbo Suzuki this Sunday, I'm going to switch over to the Ducati in November and attempt to smash the record for the 1000cc production class motorcycle while hopefully also breaking the 311 kph world production bike speed record. After the first Ducati run on 9 November in Featherston, my world tour begins,” says Heard.

“I’m going to travel around the world, attempting to progressively capture country speed records while continually bettering the world record.

“If all goes according to plan, by August 2009 I will have set at least ten country speed records and in each country reset the world production motorcycle speed record.”

Heard’s need for speed is driven by the kiwi dream to take on the world, and the 46-year-old company director has already captured the imagination of leading international news companies, including CNN, BBC2, and ABC. The Discovery Channel is making a documentary about Heard’s world record attempts, and will cover this weekend’s Cliffhanger Promotions Flying Mile at Carterton as part of the build up to the production-class record. A budget of $2m has been set for the year-long tour, with Heard invited to perform record-breaking speed trials at a number of international motor events. Heard is also scheduled to conduct a speed trial on Dubai’s new runway when they open the world’s largest airport mid 2009.

Additional Information

Christchurch-born Paul Heard is a company director and software developer based in Tauranga. Heard has 20-years involvement in the New Zealand racing industry, and is the owner and manager of MV Agusta Motorsport which races in the New Zealand super bike circuit. In February 2008 at Carterton, Heard fell 7 kph short of the New Zealand production motorcycle record on a MV Agusta motorcycle.

On Sunday 21 September, at the Cliffhanger Promotions Flying Mile in Carterton, Heard will run an open-class, 250 brake horse power, 1000cc turbo-charged Suzuki. For the Cliffhanger Flying Mile the rider has a 4km approach run before entering the quarter mile “box” where the average speed is clocked using electronic timing gear. The rider then repeats the run in the opposite direction with the average speed of the two runs used as the official result for the trial.

Heard will then use a production Ducati Desmosedici RR for the world record attempt on 9 November in Featherston. The Desmosedici RR is closely modelled on Casey Stoner’s 2007 championship winning MotorGP, and with a limited 1500 manufactured, Heard has the backing and support of Ducati to break the world record. With the bike performing at continuous full power for 5km over each run, Heard will rely on specially-designed tyres from Bridgestone which have been developed to perform at extreme speeds over prolonged distances. The current world production motorcycle speed record of 311 kph was set by an American riding a MV Agusta in Bonneville, Utah.


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